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PHN holds a signing day to be remembered

By Joseph Hayes

It was surely a signing day that will always be remembered at Port Huron Northern High School.

The 2020 senior class was special for many reasons.

There was a historic player in Braiden McGregor, who went on to become the best football player in the state of Michigan and would sign and early enroll at the University of Michigan.

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There was yet another big fish in Theo Ellis Jr., who is still in search of a school, but gained yet another Division 1 offer this week.

And of course, there were several notable athletes who would sign with colleges on Wednesday in the Performing Arts Center at the high school, as everyone got together to celebrate the accolades and accomplishments of their teammates, friends and family members in a moment that will surely be remembered for years to come.

“It really shows how the program has grown and how hard we have been working the past few years,” Northern senior quarterback Seth Klink said, after signing with Ferris State University.

“Just the kids that have signed so far and it’s going to be more that come out the program. Everyone keeps working hard. I think it’s only going to get better over time. It has a lot to do with how the coaches have coached us up.”

Among those who signed Wednesday in addition to Klink were Evan Radatz (Northwood University), Corey Bomer (Mesabi Range College), Pernell Robinson-Meeks (Mesabi Range College), Austin Eagle (St. Francis University) and John Young (Hocking College).

“We have all been playing together since like (Thumb Area Football League),” Young said with a smile. “When you put good players together in a good system, good things happen. We wanted to make this different. Northern wasn’t good a few years ago and now we are on top.

“It’s important for all of our guys going to the next level to continue being humble and working hard and stay dedicated. Anything can happen. Wait your time to be next man up.”

Standing off to the side with a big smile was Northern head football coach Larry Roelens, who has turned the Huskies into a high school program that college universities all across the country know about.

McGregor turned out to be a player that nearly every college in America knew about before he announced his intentions to become a Michigan Wolverine and the Huskies depth overall showed in the talent that Roelens developed from the top on down.

“It’s funny, I remember talking telling my wife ‘Am I really going to start eight sophomores?’” Roelens said with a laugh.

“But those eight sophomores are 27-4 or 27-6 in three years. It’s taking a chance on them and going with my gut and believing in my coaching staff and the players. It’s amazing what they have done for the coaching staff and the program and what they have done for me as a coach and learning from them.

“Now I feel like a proud dad with six of them playing college football.”

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