Luke Gorzinski spends his Friday nights as a football hero. And, his Saturday mornings as grandpa’s helper. Both require some hard work.
The Powers North Central quarterback, though, doesn’t know any other way after growing up in his family.
“You don’t get a choice with grandpa," said Leo Gorzinski Jr., the North Central coach who doubles as Luke’s dad and Leo Gorzinski Sr.’s right-hand man. “He doesn’t know how to not be sleeping and not be working. And if my dad’s in the woods, you’re going to get a call.
“That’s how we all were taught — everybody should be forced to bale hay and pick rocks and pile wood.”
That home-grown work ethic helped make Luke Gorzinski a straight-A student, a three-time state champion quarterback and now a two-time Associated Press Player of the Year for eight-player football in Michigan.
He headlines The AP All-State team selected by a panel of sports writers from across the state. Gorzinski helped power North Central to win its third straight eight-player Division 2 state championship and extend its winning streak to 37 games.
The three-time first-team All-State player finished 79 of 123 passing for 1,508 yards and 23 touchdowns while rushing 82 times for 1,216 yards and 21 scores as a senior. Beyond that, he’s the kind of leader who walks the walk.
“His biggest fear is letting his team down or watching his buddies struggle,” Leo Gorzinski said. “He’s going to do whatever he can to lift them up.
“He understands the program, he understands the goals and he throws himself into it. He works harder than anybody to make this team a winner.”
The four-year varsity performer posted a 47-1 career record. Despite suffering a leg injury the previous week, he took the field and led North Central to the first threepeat in eight-player history.
“He only had one leg for the championship game, and he couldn’t run,” Leo Gorzinski said. “So he threw the ball 25 times and tore them apart.”
Luke Gorzinski also excelled at defensive back, a position the Division II recruit could play at the collegiate level. He nabbed six interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, and was voted the Greak Lakes West offensive and defensive player of the year.
He is joined on the All-State first team by two North Central teammates, lineman Max Nason and linebacker Dillon Raab.
Brad Blauvelt earned Coach of the Year after leading Martin to the Division 1 eight-player title with J.R. Hildebrand and Karter Ribble both landing first-team honors as athletes. D1 runner-up Merrill features first-teamers in quarterback Joel Tack and defensive back Denver Coty.
Colon, Adrian Lenawee Christian and Peck also had multiple first-teamers. Colon receiver Justin Wickey and lineman Tucker Lafler, Lenawee linebacker Collin Davis and kicker Brady McKelvey, and Peck running back Caleb Lentner and lineman Steven VanConant earned the honor.
Fulton running back Bruce Thelen, Concord receiver Mekhi Wingfield, Ontonagon lineman Mason Totzke, Grand Rapids NorthPointe defensive back Jamari Hughes and Marcellus punter Cordell Jones-McNally complete the first team.