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Northville standout Deak savoring every second of final gridiron go-around

 Northville standout Deak savoring every second of final gridiron go-around

Evan Deak is slotted to play running back and linebacker this season for Northville’s football team.

Time flies when you’re having fun — a cliche/reality Northville senior multi-sport athlete Evan Deak is experiencing first-hand these days.

Wasn’t it just yesterday Deak strapped on a youth helmet for the first time and embraced those welcome-to-football moments?

And was it really almost a year ago that the hard-hitting, undersized linebacker — he was listed at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds in last year’s program — that Deak made a victory-sealing, SportsCenter-worthy, over-his-head interception against Hartland?

“I’m trying to have fun and make memories this season because at the end of the day football is just a game,” said Deak, during a break in one of the Mustangs’ two-a-day practices Aug. 8.

“I’m working as hard as I can to win and get to a state championship game, obviously, but everyone’s football career comes to an end eventually, so I’m making the most of every minute of every practice to make memories that will stick with me the rest of my life.”

Junior achievements

Also an accomplished baseball player for the Mustangs, Deak’s junior football season was packed with memory-making moments as he was key cog in the Northville’s resurgent 2022 season when it went 8-3.

Ball-carriers who under-estimated Deak’s ability to deliver jolting tackles didn’t make the mistake twice.

Evan Deak is pictured after he helped Northville upend Novi in 2022
Evan Deak is pictured after he helped Northville upend Novi in 2022

But his current top-shelf status didn’t come overnight.

“I still remember my first couple years of youth football playing inside linebacker against some offensive linemen who were really big for their age,” Deak recounted, smiling. “Getting pushed back a little bit back then definitely made me tougher.

“When I was in seventh or eighth grade we played Walled Lake and they had some really big dudes. They knocked me back a few times, but it made me want to get stronger and work out more … get my body stronger for high school.”

Lasting memory

The pivotal pick he delivered against Hartland last fall is one he won’t forget anytime soon.

“They were driving for the tying touchdown late in the game and I reached back over my head to make the interception, which pretty much sealed the win for us,” Deak said, when asked to describe his 2022 highlight. “I remember it was at Hartland and it was cold and rainy, so we didn’t have a ton of fans there, but as soon as I ran off the field I went over to our student section and they were fired up.”

Deak said last year’s success should carry over to this season — the first under the guidance of new head coach Brent Luplow.

“I think we helped set a new standard for the program last year,” Deak said. “We have eight of 11 starters back on the defensive side of the ball this year so we know what we’re capable of and we’ve set high expectations for ourselves.”

Big game after big game

Deak had to think a minute when asked what game he’s looking forward to the most. The Mustangs’ schedule has more big games than not.

“Obviously, playing Clarkston in the (University of Michigan’s) ‘Big House’ (Aug. 25) my senior year is sweet,” he said. “Playing against a team that made it to the state semis last year will make it an especially cool experience.

“The Brighton game will be huge, too, because they barely beat us on homecoming last year and it’s Coach Luplow’s former team. Oh, and definitely playing Novi is always big.”

Deak’s academic accomplishments are as lofty as his athletic feats as he carries a close-to-4.0 grade-point average into his final year at Northville.

“I’ve made it a priority to keep things up on the academic side, too, because I want to set myself up for my future,” he said.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

 

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Ed Wright

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