Sand Creek's Muck Making His Move
August 16, 2018
By Doug Donnelly
Special for Second Half
SAND CREEK – Alec Muck doesn’t take for granted that he’s one of the fastest athletes in the state.
It just makes him want to become faster.
“I’ve always had speed,” said the Sand Creek senior. “I guess you could say I was blessed with speed. But I train hard, too. I do a lot of stuff on my own, I work with a personal trainer and I lift. It motivates me.”
Muck is a five-time MHSAA Finals track champion and has rushed for more than 2,600 career yards for the Aggies’ varsity football team. As he prepares for his senior season on the football field, he said he’s healthy and ready to go out a winner.
“I just want to go out and play hard and give it my all,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes for my team. High school football is so different than anything else. I want to leave it all out there.”
Muck has a future as a college athlete. He’s just not sure in which sport. This summer, he went on a multi-state, multi-campus recruiting tour during which he blazed to a 4.3-second 40-yard time in Columbus, Ohio.
“That definitely caught the attention of a few coaches,” he said. “I kept my time around that 4.3 all summer.”
Other stops on the tour included Louisville, Cincinnati, Findlay and Western Michigan University. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster doesn’t have any formal offers to play college football, but he expects that to change this season.
“I have a passion for both track and football,” he said. “But, I love the grind of football and everything about the game. If I could choose, I’d probably say football. I’ve always wanted to play at the Division I level.”
Muck was part of the Sand Creek varsity football team as a freshman. He blossomed into a weapon as a sophomore. In the third game that season, against Whitmore Lake, he carried the ball 11 times for 277 yards and five touchdowns. It remains his most productive game of his career. In all seven Tri-County Conference games that year, he rushed for at least 100 yards. He went on to rush for 1,505 yards as a sophomore, racking up nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards and 26 touchdowns.
His junior season saw a slight dip in his carries, but he still averaged more than seven yards per rush and came up two yards short of 1,000. He started the season spending some time at quarterback. That experiment ended early in the season, however, and he expects to line up at several different spots on the field this year – but not quarterback.
“I like running back,” he said. “That’s where I’ve played since my Pop Warner days. I like to run and see the whole field. Running with the football is way different than running the track. You have to know when to go only 50 percent, so you know where to make your cut, then explode. You have to have more lateral movement.”
Sand Creek coach Scott Gallagher said the Aggies need to find more and creative ways to get Muck the football.
“He’s explosive,” said Gallagher, in his second season leading the program. “We have to put him in different positions and get him the football in a lot of different ways. He’s had the best camp he’s had since I’ve coached him.”
Muck causes headaches for opposing coaches. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
“Obviously Alec has tremendous speed; however, his ability to take over and change a game is underrated,” said Ottawa Lake Whiteford coach Jason Mensing. “His imprint on the TCC will be lasting.”
Gallagher said Muck sets high expectations for himself.
“He’s hard on himself,” Gallagher said. “He is very driven to be successful, and he wants to that success to rub off on his teammates.”
Muck’s training has involved a lot of speed drills – often on his own. His weightlifting is for strength and maintaining speed, not bulking up.
“My normal warm-ups are low sprints, not long-distance running,” he said. “When I run the short sprints, I set a goal for each sprint and try and beat that time. I run for time.”
Prior to the Regional track meet this spring, Muck injured his hamstring. He took a week off running before the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Finals, but the break didn’t slow him as he won both the 100 and 200 dashes. He won the same events as a sophomore and won the 200 as a freshman. His championship winning times this spring were 10.98 seconds in the 100 and 22.02 in the 200.
“I was really careful warming up at the state meet and, in the preliminaries, I ran easy, just so I could get to the final,” he said. “Once I got there, I knew I could do it.”
Throughout a summer of football camps and 7-on-7s, Muck also attended physical therapy for the hamstring. He said he’s now at 100 percent and ready to start football – and go out with a bang.
“This is the most dedicated the team has been since I’ve been playing,” he said. “The offseason training, the commitment to the weight room, it’s all there. I’m just ready to go out there and lead by example. It’s time to play football.”
Doug Donnelly has served as a sports and news reporter and city editor over 25 years, writing for the Daily Chief-Union in Upper Sandusky, Ohio from 1992-1995, the Monroe Evening News from 1995-2012 and the Adrian Daily Telegram since 2013. He's also written a book on high school basketball in Monroe County and compiles record books for various schools in southeast Michigan. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Lenawee and Monroe counties.
PHOTO: Sand Creek running back Alec Muck is a five-time MHSAA Finals track champion with more than 2,600 career rushing yards. He's healthy and ready for a breakout senior year of football. (Photo by Mike Dickie.)
Mendon 8-Player Championship Game Run Paced by Record-Setting Rushing
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
May 26, 2023
Mendon’s run to the Division 2 Final last fall included some of the strongest rushing performances over the history of 8-player football.
The Hornets ran for 4,317 yards, second-most all-time, on the second-most attempts (520) and with a record-setting 682 yards Oct. 14 against Marcellus. Mendon also set the record for total offense with 692 total in that game, and made the single-season touchdowns list with 76 including 66 rushing (also second on that list).
Junior Jack McCaw made the single-season scoring list with 212 points, most coming on 29 touchdowns, and Evan Lukeman made the single-game rushing list with 401 yards against Marcellus. Mendon’s defense also earned praise, twice making the fewest-first-downs-allowed list with a low of three.
See below for more recent additions to the 8-player portion of the football record book:
Athens’ Landon Bennett earned a pair of record book entries after reaching the end zone seven times during his team’s 72-0 win over Burr Oak on Sept. 8. His seven scores are tied for third-most in 8-player history and included three rushing, three on punt returns and one on an interception return. The three punt return touchdowns are a record. Bennett is a junior.
On the night Powers North Central broke its 8-player record for consecutive wins, claiming its 28th straight, senior Luke Gorzinski tied Jets great Jason Whitens for the record for interception touchdowns in a game with two, scoring on returns during the second and fourth quarters. Gorzinski has signed with Michigan Tech, and North Central’s winning streak is 37 games and counting.
A pair of Atlanta offensive playmakers and a top defensive lineman earned a total of seven entries in the record book for achievements last fall. Senior quarterback Tyler Currie threw for 30 touchdowns over eight games, and also made the records for six touchdowns and 419 passing yards against Whittemore-Prescott on Sept. 23; the passing yards are second-most for one 8-player game. Sophomore Landon Galea was added for 263 yards and five of those touchdowns against the Cardinals, and also for 1,418 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns over nine games. Junior teammate Tucker Kendrick made the tackles for loss list with five against Hillman on Oct. 6.
Adrian Lenawee Christian senior Brady McKelvey became the first to make the career extra points list in 8-player football this past fall. He bettered his previous single-season record making 64 of 66 extra-point attempts over 11 games and finishing his two-year varsity career with 123 extra points in 127 tries.
Sam McKissack reached the record book showcasing multiple skills for Crystal Falls Forest Park during the 2021 season – twice for rushing attempts in a game including with a record 59 against Ontonagon that Sept. 10, and then with a record 70-yard punt Oct. 30, 2021, against Lake Linden-Hubbell. Teammate Devon Basirico also made the record book with six fumble recoveries over 11 games that season. As a team, Forest Park was added twice for single-game rushing attempts – including 73 total in that Ontonagon game – and for 424 rushes over 11 games for the season. McKissack and Basirico are seniors this spring.
Nikolaus Lewis tied for eighth-most rushing touchdowns in an 8-player game when he reached the end zone six times for Carsonville-Port Sanilac in its win over Caseville on Oct. 7. He’s a senior this spring.
Bridgman has won 24 straight games over the last three seasons, and an exceptional offense – and exceptional offensive star – have played major roles. The Bees were added for 658 total yards in a win over Lawrence last season, that total ranking third all-time, and also 613 yards in a win over Eau Claire. Those included totals of 575 and 547 rushing yards, respectively, and Bridgman was added for 3,598 rushing yards (sixth on the list), 59 rushing touchdowns (fourth) and 76 total touchdowns (seventh). Senior Reid Haskins capped his four-year, 32-game varsity career with 13 record book entries, including for 254 points last season over nine games (tied for fifth all-time) and a record 620 career points, 41 touchdowns last season (fifth) and a record 95 for his career, 2,344 rushing yards last season (third) and a record 5,206 for his career, and 41 rushing touchdowns last season (third) and a record 94 for his career. Senior teammate Tanner Peters made the records three times including for 50 extra points last season (fourth) and 99 over 26 games and three seasons (second on the career list).
Mio's Austin Fox rewrote the 8-player passing record book this past fall, with his 621 yards in a game against Whittemore-Prescott setting a single-game record as he totaled four of the five-highest passing yardage totals. He also set a record with 3,516 over nine games for the season, another record with 289 passing attempts over those nine games and a third record for nine touchdown passes in that game against the Cardinals. His 41 touchdown passes total rank fourth. Teammates Gage Long and Nathan Hurst also earned several record book entries on the receiving end of those passes. Long’s 297 receiving yards against Whittemore-Prescott were tied for third most, and Hurst’s 266 against Alcona rank eighth. Long set a single-season record with 1,739 receiving yards, with Hurst sixth all-time at 1,321, and Long’s 14 receptions against the Cardinals and 70 for the season also rank second on those respective lists. Hurst set a record for longest 8-player kickoff return with a 99-yarder against St. Helen Charlton Heston. All three are seniors.
Peck was one of the first MHSAA 8-player champions, claiming the title in 2013, and Cody Abrego one of the state’s first 8-player stars. The Pirates were added to the MHSAA record book 52 times, and Abrego 14 times individually. Among the most notable entries for the 2015 graduate were for 462 points scored over his two-season career (ranking sixth all-time), 74 career touchdowns (sixth), 2,202 rushing yards in 2013 (fifth) and 35 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (sixth). Current senior Caleb Lentner was one of the stars statewide this past season, and he was added eight times including for 50 points scored in a game (ranking second), 272 points for a season last fall (fifth), eight touchdowns in a game (tied for second), 42 touchdowns in a season (fifth), an 8-player record of 2,694 rushing yards from last season, and 38 rushing touchdowns also last fall (fourth). Others to make the individual lists were Nathan Robar, Caleb Dudley, Steven VanConant, Kyle Abrego and Nathan Neihaus, Dudley for a record 20 career interceptions over two seasons and VanConant for a record 12 tackles for loss in a 2022 game and 36 tackles for loss for the season last fall. The Pirates also are all over the 8-player team record book, including for a record 97 touchdowns in 2013, a record 5,895 yards of total offense that season, 528 carries, 4,346 rushing yards and 73 rushing touchdowns in 2013 (all ranking second); and 24 interceptions in 2014, which ranks second on that list.
Senior quarterback JR Hildebrand was one of the most dynamic players in 8-player football in the fall in leading Martin to the Division 1 title. He had one of his most exciting nights in a playoff opener against Tekonsha, making the single-game touchdown pass list with six in a 68-6 victory.
PHOTO Mendon’s Jack McCaw (21) eludes a tackle during the 8-Player Division 2 Final in November at Northern Michigan University. (Photo by Cara Kamps.)