Surrounded by family and coaches, Devon Harris (left), Kameron Burmeister (middle) and James Brown of Menominee signed letters of intent to Northern Michigan University Wednesday. Harris and Brown will play football for the Wildcats and Burmeister will compete in track and cross country. <br>EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
Surrounded by family and coaches, Devon Harris (left), Kameron Burmeister (middle) and James Brown of Menominee signed letters of intent to Northern Michigan University Wednesday. Harris and Brown will play football for the Wildcats and Burmeister will compete in track and cross country.
EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
MENOMINEE - The will to succeed has carried Menominee's Kameron Burmeister, James Brown and Devon Harris to the next level as student athletes.
Burmeister (cross country and track), Brown (football) and Harris (football) signed letters of intent Wednesday to further their academic and athletic careers at Northern Michigan University.
Burmeister willed herself to become a U.P. champion in cross country and a U.P. medalist in the distance events in track.
She placed 11th at the U.P. Cross Country Finals in her sophomore year and pushed herself harder in the offseason to earn all-state laurels with her third-place finish in her junior year.
Still not satisfied and still pushing herself with a tough offseason training regimen, Burmeister put her footprints into Maroon cross country history by winning the Division 1 U.P. title to cap an amazing unbeaten senior run.
Last spring Burmeister did the grueling distance cycle in track, and earned a silver medal in the 1,600 and 3,200 and a bronze medal in the 800 at the U.P. Finals and also competed in the 1,600 relay.
"I'm really excited to go on to the next level and compete at a more elite level," said Burmeister, who will pursue a nursing degree. "I'm excited to start a new chapter.
"I've discovered so much about myself through running. I've had so much support from the people around me."
At the U.P. Finals on the outskirts of Marquette last fall, Burmeister raced to a time of 19 minutes, 36 seconds while becoming the first Maroon girl to win a U.P. cross country title.
"If I could go back and do it again, I would," Burmeister said. "That was the highlight of my running career."
Burmeister was honored as the top Class A-B female runner of the year by the U.P. coaches.
An excellent student as well as a two-sport standout, Burmeister was the ultimate leader on the Maroon track and cross country teams. After winning the U.P. title, she jogged back to the finishing stretch to cheer on her teammates.
Burmeister will have a fast-paced schedule when she dons the Green and Gold of the Wildcats. After the fall cross country season, she will probably run the middle distances during the indoor and outdoor track seasons.
Brown and Harris were a the Taser and laser show for the Maroons Division 5 state finals football team that set a team record for points scored in a nine-game season (413).
Brown had 30 touchdowns in his senior year while rushing for 1,113 yards on 178 carries. He had 463 rushing yards on 78 carries for a 5.94 average and scored 13 TDs in the Maroons five playoff games.
As a defensive end, Brown delivered more hits than Motown's James Brown. He had seven sacks, while collecting 39 tackles, including 21 solo tackles.
Brown noted that he will probably play outside linebacker for NMU.
"A dream achieved," Brown said of playing college football. "It opens up new doors. It's good to see all the hard work paid off. There's a lot of work ahead of me now."
Brown will probably be redshirted his freshman season, but he'll be ready when his name is called.
"I'll play wherever they play me as long as I get on the field," he said.
Brown's path to college football began as a sixth-grader in M&M Youth Football.
"I started realizing that this is my sport. Then I got to high school with great coaches who could bring out the best in me."
Menominee's domination of state-ranked Muskegon Oakridge for a 49-0 halftime lead in the state semifinals and the trip to Ford Field are highlights for Brown, but he will also treasure the 42-13 win over archrival Kingsford at Walton Blesch Field last September "because of the intensity of that game."
Brown is considering a major in sports management with minor in psychology. His Maroon basketball career ended when he had surgery on his fractured left wrist, suffered during the second football game of the season.
While NMU coaches are happy to have Harris in their ranks, the juniors who tried to contain his quicksilver moves are breathing a sigh of relief.
"It means a lot," Harris said of playing for NMU. "I get to be on my own and live in the real world."
Nobody in the U.P. could make jump-cuts and then rocket away from frustrated defenders like Harris.
He rushed for 696 yards on 73 carries in 10 games, including a rousing 10.74 rushing average in the playoffs.
An excellent route runner, Harris caught 58 passes for 504 yards and 10 touchdowns. Oh yes, he also completed 14 of 22 passes 252 yards and five touchdowns.
"Speed, quickness and good hands," are the strengths Harris feels he will bring to the Wildcats. "Eventually, I hope to start."
Harris said he will probably be a receiver for NMU, but his skills as a defensive back also caught the coaches attention.
Harris said his best Maroon memory was the semifinal win over Muskegon Oakridge at the Superior Dome, the same venue he and Brown will be playing in for the Wildcats.
Harris has not decided on a major.