POWERS, Mich. (WJMN) – There is not a program in the U.P, or even the state for that matter, that has found more success than North Central over the last decade.
The Jets ended last season winning their third straight state title, their fifth in the last eight years. It capped off an unprecedented run for a special senior class.
“Just look at the records and the wars that they put up there,” said North Central head coach, Leo Gorzinski. “It was a great group of kids. I don’t want to say they were a one-in-a-lifetime because it has happened a couple of times over here at North Central. This is just a great group of kids that has played together since their youth levels, they stuck together. We had a couple of add-ons since high school went on but they accomplished all of their goals.
With that senior class graduated, many wondered if this was the year the Jets would come back down to Earth.
“Some of those players are not technically replaceable,” said Gorzinski. “You got to replace them with a couple of other guys and some people need to step up. Right now, the kids that we have here have been with that group. They’ve watched them, they’ve played with them, and they’ve practiced against them. They knew what was at stake and they’ve done their part to mend, gel, and become a new team.”
Through three games it’s very apparent North Central is not planning on slowing down. The Jets are out scoring their opponents 138-12 and are currently sitting at 3-0 on the season.
“We like to play fast so that aspect of football over here is never going to change,” said Gorzinski. “We’ve been blessed with fast and athletic kids so that’s the way we’re going to play and we’ll still have that style. There are some situations where we have to do the little things better than before and cut down on penalties. Otherwise, we haven’t changed anything.”
“Our run game I think is very strong,” said Jacob Gorzinski. “We got good wide receiver blocking again this year. I think our offensive and defensive line is going to really be our strong point this year.”
While the style of play on the field has stayed the same, Jets fans have had the opportunity to watch new faces step in and flourish in their leadership roles.
“Obviously, Max Nasan, Jacob Gorzinski, Lane Gorzinski, they’re doing what’s expected,” said Gorzinski. “Everybody knew they were going to be players that we need. Hunter Robinson, Spencer Willa, Aidan Burton, they’re all over achieving at this point in the season and we’ll keep it rolling.”
“It’s really exciting,” said Jacob Gorzinski. “You wait all year to play football and most of us we trained all summer to get ready for this and it’s just great to be back on the field. The goal we all have is winning another state championship and that’s what I want to help lead this team towards.”
But what’s fueling the Jets during another journey to a championship?
“What we’ve accomplished here, it’s a testament to the staff that we have here on board and the coaches that have been helping me and these kids desire to want to be the best,” said Gorzinski. “They’ve put in the summer time work. They come out here on weekends, mornings, whenever we ask them to do stuff they’re willing to put time in and get better and keep this legacy going. Everybody knows everybody here. These guys are related to half the guys that graduated last year. None of them want to go home and sit at the dinner table and have to talk about their the ones that got that first loss.”
North Central will look to once strive to meet their championship standard when they host undefeated Ontonagon this Friday.
“If that’s not your main goal to start the season, you know, don’t bother and don’t waster your time,” said Gorzinski. “When you step on this grass, that is why you’re here. You’re here to win state championships and win football games. If that happens then that’s awesome. Along the way you’re going to have the memories, you’re going to have all the experiences as a football team. Right here, since we have it rolling, we’re going to keep trying for it.”