Jets’ Prestay named All-State
POWERS – North Central Jets football coach Kevin Bellefeuil knows if his athletes put in the work they will get the recognition.
“I always tell our kids if you make the plays, if you do the work, people will find out who you are and where you are and you will get honored for it,” Bellefeuil said.
Jets linebacker Eric Prestay made the plays all season and the honors keep rolling in. After being named the Small School Defensive Player of the Year and to the All U.P. Dream Team. the senior was named to the Division 7-8 All-State Team on Tuesday.
“It’s nice to see when kids do the right things and go about it the right way and they get rewarded for it,” Bellefeuil said. “Eric is certainly an example of that.”
The 6-foot-2 inch, 220 pound Prestay did the right things on and off the field. In the regular season Prestay racked up 110 tackles, including nine for a loss. He also added two sacks, caused three forced fumbles and jumped on two fumble recoveries.
“I’ve just been working really hard this whole season and I’m really glad that I got named to All-state,” Prestay said.
When Prestay wasn’t making tackles on the field he was getting ready for the season. The Jets captain spent his summer at football camps and conditioning, including lifting weights five to six days a week.
“When kids talk about wanting to be like Eric I tell them hey, it doesn’t come cheap,” Bellefeuil said. “The price you pay for that doesn’t come cheap. You have to get in the weight room, you have to do it in the off-season. If you want to be the guy you’ve got to do what he did.”
Prestay anchored a Jets defense that only allowed 124 points in the regular season. North Central finished 8-3 and won the school’s first ever playoff game against Munising, 35-21.
Prestay said the defense meshed together in the first game and got production from all their positions.
“We started the season and had a really good game at home against Ontonagon and we just kept it rolling and things really clicked this season and we all had chemistry and really played like a team,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for much more than that.”
While his numbers were impressive, stats didn’t tell the whole tale for Prestay, who made clutch plays on the defensive side of the ball all season.
“Early in the season when things could’ve gone either way; Eric was there, every time we needed a play and he made it,” Bellefeuil said. “Every time the kids put their heads down Eric would make a play for us.”
Prestay, who has been playing football since fifth grade and varsity ball since he was a sophomore hopes to continue playing at the college level. If he does make the jump to the next level, one thing is for sure, he has the right work ethic.
“I’ve never had a kid at North Central since I’ve been here that’s worked as hard to be as good as he can be as Eric,” Bellefeuil noted. “He’s in the weight-room, he watches what he eats. This is a kid who prepares for what he’s going to do next and I’m certainly thrilled to death that he’s got all the honors he’s achieved.”
Other Upper Peninsula Division 7-8 All State selections include: Ishpeming senior quarterback Alex Briones. Forest Park junior running back Lee Graff, North Dickinson lineman Brad Gustafson and St. Ignace defensive back Gage Kreski.
Amari Coleman of New Lothrop was the Division 7-8 Player of the Year.