Blue Devils Participate in U.P. Football All-Star Game

Recent graduates of Sault High, and Blue Devil football alumni, Evan Arbic, Kaydin Lujan and Ryan TenEyck had one last chance to put on their Blue Devils helmets last week. The former teammates were selected to play in the U.P. Football All-Star Game in the Superior Dome on Northern Michigan University’s campus in Marquette. An annual tradition that has been going on since 2008, players from across the Upper Peninsula are selected to represent their schools, and drafted to one of two teams. Arbic was the #7 pick, and landed on the black team, while Lujan, the #8 pick, and TenEyck were both selected to the red team. The black team was coached by Travis Wiltzius of Gladstone, while the red team was coached by Chad Brandt of Menominee. 

The players spent the week prior to the game in Marquette and stayed in the dorms on NMU’s campus. Former rivals were now teammates, and former teammates were now rivals. The coaches and players had five days to become a team, with a number of practices inside the dome, as well as outside on the Wildcats’ practice fields. The athletes had the chance to participate in a football combine, and there were special guests that visited throughout the week, including St Ignace alum, CMU standout and former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Joey Ostman, and Ewen Trout Creek alum, former NMU standout and current tackle for the Indianapolis Colts, Jake Witt. The all-stars also had a mental health message and conversation, and watched the documentary Do it for Daniel. The athletes took some time away from the field and volunteered with Marquette County’s Habitat for Humanity, and helped finish up a project house. The week full of events leading up to the game culminated with a banquet Friday evening. 

Game Day arrived, and it was the red team that overtook the black team, with a final score of 45-29. Lujan was awarded Defensive MVP of the red team. “Being selected in the All-Star was a huge accomplishment for me, ever since my freshman year I knew I wanted to play in that game after my senior season, and to do so was a way for me to realize that my hard work paid off. By far my favorite part of the week was winning the game on Saturday, it showed all the hard work that we put in during the week.” Lujan is headed to St Norbert’s College in the fall to continue his football career. 

TenEyck, also a member of the winning team, shared about his week long experience. “It meant a lot to me to get selected to go this year, it was my first year of football and it gave me confidence so I knew I could play at the next level. My favorite part of All-Star week was meeting all the new guys and spending time with them, they are all great people and very fun to be around.” He will be playing corner at Hudson Valley Community College in the fall. 

Arbic will soon be returning to NMU’s campus, as he signed his letter of intent to play for the Wildcats this fall. He still appreciated the opportunity to be a Blue Devil one last time. “It meant so much to me to be able to play one last game of high school football and to get a chance to know some of the athletes that I have competed against in the last 4 years. My favorite part of the week was the practices, we were such a tight knit group of people and it was great to spend time with the team.”

The Blue Devils’ former coach Scott Menard traveled to watch the game. “I was very excited for the three boys at the all-star game because I knew they would have a great experience during the week and for them to suit up again and play football.  They all performed extremely well and made our program proud.”

More pictures and videos from the whole week can be found on U.P. Football All-Star Game, AdvantEdge, as well as advantedge906 on social media. The All-Star week was coordinated by Dustin Brancheau, owner of AdvantEdge Sports Training in Marquette. 

L-R: Scott Menard, Kaydin Lujan, Ryan TenEyck and Evan Arbic

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