Simmons a Dream Team pick

Wykons’ Nelson, Nordics’ Smith land on All-U.P. first team

(Adam Niemi/The Daily News) Forest Park’s Mercedes Simmons (right) blocks the shot of Kingsford’s Kate Cook (12) in a 2018-19 game at Kingsford.

IRONWOOD — Forest Park senior center Mercedes Simmons has added another accolade to her resume. Simmons was named to the girls basketball All-Class Dream Team as selected by the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

The UPSSA conducted an online voting process last week, selecting the region’s Dream Team, first and second teams, along with top coaches and players of the year.

Simmons, a Division 4 first team selection in 2019, received votes in consideration of Division 4 Player of the Year, which was won by junior Hallie Marshall of St. Ignace.

In 2020, Simmons was also named AP All-State First Team Division 4, Skyline Central Conference First Team and Defensive Player of the Year. For the season, she averaged 19.4 points, 14.9 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 3.1 blocks per game, accounting for half of Forest Park’s scoring and rebounding.

Simmons will continue her playing career at Division II Purdue Northwest, a GLIAC Conference school in Hammond, Indiana.

EMILY NELSON Adam Niemi Photo

Menominee junior center Emma Anderson was named Ms. U.P. Basketball, as well as Division 1-3 Player of the Year. Anderson was named to the Michigan Associated Press Division 2 All-State First Team last week.

Joining Anderson, Marshall and Simmons on the Dream Team are Westwood senior Tessa Leece, the Division 1-3 Player of the Year in 2019, and juniors Nicole Kamin of Escanaba and Elise Besonen of Ewen-Trout Creek. Once the votes were tabulated, six players were named to the Dream team because Besonen and Simmons finished tied for the fifth and final spot.

The area had two first team selections — seniors Emily Nelson of West Iron County and Brianna Smith of North Dickinson.

Nelson an All-U.P. first team selection in 2019, was named to the Dream Team in the West-PAC this season. She averaged 13.2 points, 12 rebounds, 2.2 blocks per game. The Wykons center is signed to play basketball at Michigan Tech.

Other Division 1-3 first team selections were senior Madelyn Koski of Westwood, juniors Elli Djerf of Calumet and Megan Crow of Gladstone. Negaunee sophomore Alyssa Hill rounds out the first team.


Smith was an All-U.P. second team selection in 2019, while being named the Player of the Year in the Skyline Central Conference and to the all-defensive team, in both her junior and senior seasons. Smith averaged 12.8 points, 5.2 assists, five rebounds and three steals per game in 2020.

Joining Smith of the Division 4 first team are seniors Sophia Vaughn of Engadine and Megan Matson of Munising. Sophomores Tessa Wagner of Carney-Nadeau and Ally Schultz of St. Ignace round out the first team in Division 4.

Two area players were named second team All-UP. Kingsford senior point guard Brooke Kriegl, a Division 1-3 second team selection for the second straight season, was also named to the Great Northern Conference first team as well as the conference Defensive Player of the Year, despite missing four games due to a foot injury.

Junior Andie Arsenault North Central was named to the second team in Division 4. She was a first team selection in the Skyline, while also missing four games due to illness.

Girls from the area that were selected as honorable mentions are seniors Reagan Lundholm of Iron Mountain, Maggie Strehlow of Kingsford and Anna Malmquist of West Iron County, in Division 1-3. Malmquist was also selected as a honorable mention in 2019.

Division 4 honorable mentions include North Dickinson sophomore Ashton Hord; North Central senior Bree Aresenault, who was an honorable mention in 2019 as well; and North Central senior Alex Neville.

Repeating as Team of the Year are Westwood in Division 3 and St. Ignace in Division 4, with St. Ignace head coach Doreen Ingalls repeating as Coach of the Year.

St. Ignace finished the season at 21-2, winning its 12th district title. The Saints were co-champions with Sault Ste. Marie in the Straights Area Conference, handing the Soo its only loss of the season. St. Ignace was No.1 in UPSSA poll the entire season, and finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Division 4 AP poll.

North Dickinson’s Kirk Mattson was nominated for Division 4 Coach of the Year. Mattson led North Dickinson to an 18-2 regular season record, (20-3 overall) and 16-0 in the conference as North Dickinson won the Skyline Central championship. He was named Coach of the Year in the Skyline Central Conference, as voted by fellow SCC coaches.

The Division 1-2 Team of the Year selection was Menominee, who went 20-0 in the regular season. Pat Bennin of Sault Ste. Marie was selected as the Division 1-3 Coach of the Year, leading the Blue Devils to a 18-1 regular season record, their best in 20 years.


Special Awards

Ms. U.P. Basketball: Emma Anderson, Menominee, junior

Division 1-3 Player of the Year: Emma Anderson, Menominee, junior

Division 4 Player of the Year: Hallie Marshall, St. Ignace, junior

Division 1-2 Team of the Year: Menominee

Division 3 Team of the Year: Westwood

Division 4 Team of the Year: St. Ignace

Division 1-3 Coach of the Year: Pat Bennin, Sault Ste. Marie

Division 4 Coach of the Year: Dorene Ingalls, St. Ignace

Dream Team

Emma Anderson, Menominee, 6-3, Jr. ; Nicole Kamin, Escanaba, 5-11, Jr.; Tessa Leece, Westwood, 5-10, Sr.; Hallie Marshall, St. Ignace, 5-7, Jr.; Mercedes Simmons, Forest Park, 6-1, Sr.; Elise Besonen, Ewen-Trout Creek, 5-3, Jr.

Division 1-3 First Team

Madelyn Koski, Westwood, 5-6, Sr.; Megan Crow, Gladstone, 6-3, Jr. ; Alyssa Hill, Negaunee, 6-2, Soph.; Emily Nelson, West Iron County, 6-3, Sr.; Elli Djerf, Calumet, 5-9, Jr.

Division 1-3 Second Team

Marissa Delmont, Gwinn, 5-8, Sr.; Aspen Michelin, Marquette, 5-10, Sr.; Julia Beaumont, Sault Ste. Marie, 6-0, Sr.; McKenzie Boyd, Ironwood, 5-8, Jr.; Chloe Norman, Negaunee, 5-8, Sr.; Brooke Kriegl, Kingsford, 5-4, Sr.; Maria Millado, Marquette, 5-10, Soph.; Emma Poirier, Ishpeming, 5-4, Sr.; Erin Barrette, Menominee, 5-6, Jr.; Emily Curtice, Gwinn, 5-7, Sr.; Natalie Prophet, Westwood, 5-8, Soph.

Division 4 First Team

Megan Matson, Munising, 5-8, Sr.; Sophia Vaughn, Engadine, 5-8, Sr.; Ally Schultz, St. Ignace, 5-8, Soph.; Tessa Wagner, Carney-Nadeau, 6-2, Soph.; Briana Smith, North Dickinson, 5-7, Sr.

Division 4 Second Team

Kennedy Englund, Mid Peninsula, 5-9, Sr.; Sandra Boulton, Carney-Nadeau, 5-11, Sr.; Maija Rice, L’Anse, 5-7, Jr.; Kennedy Guild, Pickford, 5-8, Soph.; Paige Sleeman, Chassell, 5-8, Soph.; Emmalee Hart, St. Ignace, 5-7, Jr.; Andie Arsenault, North Central, 5-7, Jr.; Jaylyne Lindemann, Baraga, Jr.; Elysia Causley, Cedarville, 5-8, Jr.; Rylie Koskinen, Baraga, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Division 1-3: Maddie Ahlgren, Gladstone, Sr.; Lilly Alaspa, Sault Ste. Marie, Jr.; Claire Erickson, Sault Ste. Marie, Freshman; D’Andra Kero, Hancock, Sr.; Marybeth Halone, Calumet; Reagan Lundholm, Iron Mountain, Sr.; Anna Malmquist, West Iron County, Sr.; Emilee McDaniel, Manistique, Sr.; Jenna Nolde, Menominee, Jr.; Karlie Patron, Westwood, Sr.; Grace Peterson, Bark River-Harris, Sr.; Taylor Ray, Escanaba, Sr.; Allison Richer, Bark River-Harris, Jr.; Sierra Wickstrom, Houghton, Freshman; Josie Hofer, Menominee; Makenzie Wellner, Menominee; Maggie Strehlow, KIngsford, Sr.

Division 4: Victoria Aikens, Brimley, Sr.; Lizzie Storey, Pickford, Sr.; Sara Beelen, Rudyard, Jr.; Alex Neville, North Central, Sr.; Giselle Laurila, Carney-Nadeau, Sr.; Chevy Koski, Mid-Peninsula, Sr.; Camryn Croasdell, Mid-Peninsula, Sr.; Bree Arsenault, North Central, Sr.; Darcy Bennin, Pickford, Sr.; Natalie Belanger, Rapid River; Allison Durant, Baraga, Jr.; Daisy Englund, Mid Peninsula, Jr.; Leah French, Engadine, Freshman; Kristin Goodacre, Rapid River, Sr.; Anna Hart, St. Ignace, Sr.; Ashton Hord, North Dickinson, Soph.; Izzy Kopsi, Engadine, Sr.; Abbie LeGault, Ewen-Trout Creek, Jr.; Addison Mattson, L’Anse, Sr.; Reide Osterman, Baraga, Soph.; Katie Rahilly, Newberry, Jr.; Tessa Shepard, St. Ignace, Sr.; Kaylin Voskuhl, L’Anse, Sr.; Taylor Williams, Cedarville, Freshman; Meagan Yonkers, Big Bay de Noc, Sr.; Makennah Uotila, Ontonagon, Freshman; Paige Berglund, Ewen-Trout Creek, Sr.; Carlee Yon, Wakefield-Marenisco, Jr.


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