NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Negaunee Miners have impressed through the first half of the football season. The lone remaining undefeated team in the 11-man league, they’ve been winning games and they’ve been doing it their way.

“I think the biggest things is consistency,” said Paul Jacobson, the head coach for Negaunee. “We’ve been able to establish ourselves in the run and the pass game I feel like we have the ability to do both right now pretty well with the athletes that we have. Just sticking with what we do, what we do best, and what we do as players.”

One student-athlete who exemplifies the “Miner Way’ is senior, Philip Nelson.

“Phil does exemplify what we want as a Miner football player,” said Jacobson. “Just the hard-working, pack a lunch, type of person that’s going to do everything he can to be the best person and make everyone around him better.”

“It’s definitely a privilege to be apart of Miner Country,” said Nelson. “It’s just really nice to be apart of that and the legacy that Negaunee has behind football.”

Jacobson says Nelson leads through example, and is always the first Miner to clock in and last to clock out.

“He does everything that leaders do,” said Jacobson. “He’s out here doing all the little things that leaders do. He’s staying after practice, he’s here early for practice. The biggest thing for Phil is his drive and determination make him who he is. Whether he’s returning punts or kickoffs, running routes or breaking up passes in the secondary, his work ethic is second to none.”

Nelson’s hard work off the field is translating on it. He’s been a playmaker for the Miners on all three levels of the game.

“I like to be utilized but obviously it’s not just me it’s my blockers,” said Nelson. “If they aren’t there then I won’t be making these plays. I get recognized for a lot of those things but it should be the blockers that should be.”

Nelson says the Miners success this season should come as no surprise because of the work the team has put in behind closed doors.

“It never surprises me because of the work we put in during the offseason at Advanedge and at practice,” said Nelson. “Games aren’t won on Friday nights they’re won through the week. Nothing usually surprises us it’s usually preparation that gets us ready for the game.”

It’s that type of mindset that has the Miners living up to the lofty expectations put on their shoulders at the start of the season.

“We’ve had a lot of people say that we should be going far this year,” said Nelson. “There’s a lot of talent on this team and we’re just trying to live up to those expectations.”

The #1 Negaunee Miners will travel to #2 Gladstone this Friday night for our ‘Game of the Week’. You can see full highlights and post game reaction on the ‘5th Down’ this Friday night at 10/9CT on Local 3 News.