Gabe Whitmore comes into 2018 with big goals. A returning starter from a disappointing 3-6 campaign highlighted by a week 2 14-7 victory over Escanaba who ended up a final 4 team in Division 4 of the MHSAA playoffs.
This year Whitmore and the Northmen have different aspirations as they have goals of getting back to playoffs and that’s being shown the first few weeks of practice.
“We’ve been practicing really well and playing hard,” says Whitmore. “A ton of leadership this year, and we have a ton of energy coming from the upperclassmen.”
Last year Whitmore played up on varsity as a sophomore and says the experience is invaluable and is ready for round 2.
“Last year I learned a lot but now I know what it takes to be successful at varsity football and hope I can relay that message to younger players. Also I did some summer camps and learned from a lot of great coaches and that has helped a ton.”
Whitmore is what we consider an athlete where he plays and excels at multiple positions on the field. A Big North Conference 2nd team WR a year ago is in the midst of a QB competition as well as being the teams starting Free Safety.
“Josh (Rowe) and I are competing for QB against each other right now and it’s helping both of us reach new levels. I think right now our coaching staff is just figuring out if they want me to play because I’m a good runner or if they want more of a passer in Josh. The competition is really benefitting our whole team and making everyone better. I just like making plays so I’ll be happy whatever they decide.”
Gabe comes from a good football family with both brothers playing varsity at Petoskey, Evan (2016) and Shea (2013) which Gabe says has been very beneficial.
“It’s always helped. I grew up watching them and looking up to them. Evan has the most wins of any QB in Petoskey history which is awesome and Shea played college football at Hillsdale. Having those two for brothers looking up to them has showed me how hard work can be rewarded.”
In just nine days Mount Pleasant will travel up to Petoskey to kick off the season and Whitmore is more than ready he says.
“Mount Pleasant is pretty good. Our coaches know them a little bit from playing them a couple years ago in the playoffs. We’ve been preparing for their offense in practice. I think we have what it takes to beat them we just have to be more physical and outlast them and I think we’ll have a good chance.”
Whitmore is one of the most intriguing prospects in Northern Michigan and will be a player to watch in 2018 who is being recruited by some D2 and NAIA schools right now.