Gorch on the Porch: From Pop Warner success to sectional champs

Photo by Robb QuinnMichigan City's Kameron Muhammad scores a touchdown on Friday night against La Porte in the Class 5A Sectional 9 championship game at Ames Field.

MICHIGAN CITY — The seeds leading to the hoisting of a sectional championship trophy for the first time in Michigan City High School football program history were planted in 2012 more than 1,100 miles away.

That’s when a large group of the current roster were playing for the Michigan City Pop Warner Junior Pee-wees team that finished second in the nation at the Pop Warner Little Scholars Championships at the Wide World of Sports Complex inside Walt Disney World in Florida.

Among the members of that squad were three players who scored touchdowns in Friday’s 38-10 trouncing of La Porte at Ames Field.

Senior quarterback Michael McCullough Jr., had two rushing TDs and more than 100 yards on the ground. He also had a late TD pass to Bryce Haman to seal the victory. Haman was on that Pop Warner squad.

So was wide receiver Tyler Siegmund and Kameron Muhammad.

“I’ve worked my whole life for this; it’s a dream come true,” Muhammad said. “We’ve dreamed about this since Pop Warner … Haman, Tyler Siegmund, McCullough, Keyshawn (McGill) … so many of us played together.”

And they succeeded together back then, and made a sort of pact to do bring a sectional title at City.

“This is a dream come true,” Siegmund said. “We wanted to make a difference in high school after finishing national runner-up and carry that over.”

Muhammad started the season as a hybrid wideout, topping 100 yards receiving in a game earlier this season. But he has become the Wolves’ version of Chicago Bears minute running back Tarik Cohen, who, like Muhammad, is listed at 5-foot-6 on his team’s roster.

“I’m real comfortable back there running the ball,” Muhammad said with a huge smile from ear-to-ear. “Coach didn’t want to put me back there because of my size, but I told him I can do it.”

You know who else had a huge smile on the sideline as the clock wound down in the final minute? City graduate Aryuan Cain-Veasey, who earned last year’s News-Dispatch Offensive Player of the Year honor before heading to Grand Valley State in Michigan.

Sure, he would have preferred to have been hoisting that sectional trophy with a Wolves’ jersey on, but the running back who also played for MC Pop Warner couldn’t help but celebrate history.

“As long as Michigan City gets a sectional title, I’m good, I’m happy,” he said.

Head coach Phil Mason was also happy, but more for the kids and what they did to achieve something that had never been done.

“Winning a sectional championship this quickly is a testament to how hard these kids have worked the last two years,” the second-year coach said.

But this isn’t the end. Next up for City is the regional at Concord, which improved to 10-1 with a 28-12 victory at Goshen on Friday night.

Reach sports editor Steve T. Gorches at sgorches@thenewsdispatch.com or (219) 214-4206. Follow him on Twitter @SteveTGorches.

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