Hopkins High School Football’s Quincy Collings and Wyatt Stegeman Named Athletes of the Week
Hopkins has its regular-season finale at 7 p.m. tonight against Godwin Heights in Wyoming. Stegeman and Collings are two big reasons why the Vikings could claim the Ottawa-Kent (OK) Conference Silver Division title outright in addition to reaching the postseason for the ninth consecutive year.
It's difficult to pick who to focus on when both seniors have combined already for more than 1,800 yards rushing at more than eight yards per carry. That doesn't even include them being two-way starters as defensive regulars for a 7-1 Vikings team suiting up just 27 players.
"With Quincy and Wyatt, ... it's a one-two punch in the backfield," fourth-year Hopkins Coach Cody Francis said. "They do a wonderful job for us back there.
"It allows us to open up things."
A 5-foot, 8-inch, 170-pounder who is a second-year tri-captain along with Nick Schoonveld and John Adams, Stegeman has pounded out 1,032 yards on 122 carries, including 177 yards and two touchdown on 18 carries in a 39-16 win over Parchment. He has rushed for 10 touchdowns and had a 1-yard TD reception from quarterback Ryan Pierce in last week's 74-0 win over Wyoming Lee.
Collings, a 5-11, 180-pounder, has racked up 823 yards on 101 carries. Despite missing much of the second-week 27-12 loss to Allendale, he made up for it with 333-yard effort in a 49-21 win over Schoolcraft two weeks ago. His rushing to date includes eight touchdowns and he has two other touchdowns -- a 73-yard reception receiving and a 43-yard punt return.
On defense, Stegeman has 33 tackles, 16 assists, a QB sack and two broke-up passes from his linebacker spot, while Collings has 16 solo tackles, 10 assists, an interception and four broke-up passes from his free safety position.
They have helped power Hopkins into the postseason for the ninth consecutive season in the Vikings' full-house wing-T alignment behind an offensive line of center Jalen Kisner, tackles Clayton Frank and Seth Mack, guards Zak Black and Noah Kraft and tight ends Tyler Shulz and Schoonveld.
"With us both playing the way we have been, they don't know what to focus on with us," said Stegeman, a three-year starter. "You can't target just one of us."
He and Collings both credit hard work in practices and familiarity with each other and their teammates. Plus, both readily point out their success comes in tandem.
"We work really, really hard in practice on our running and our blocking," Collings said. "I feel like once we get going, we get on the contact and are working to go upfield ... instead of around."
Francis said Stegeman is a "quiet leader who leads by example" and Collings is "a gifted athlete (who's) very focused on the field and works his butt off in practice."
Their exploits on the football field extend into other endeavors.
Collings won the Division 3 state high jump title in May with a 6-foot, 9-inch leap in only his second full season in the track-and-field event and he has also played basketball and wrestled for Hopkins. He has college hopes, drawing much interest because of his state title and is planning to major in criminal justice with an eye on law enforcement. He is the youngest of Cynthia Thurmond's and Eugene Collings' two sons.
Stegeman has also competed in basketball and track for Hopkins. With a 3.5-plus grade-point average including Advanced Placement (AP) classes, he plans to work toward being a physical therapy assistant and wants to play college football. He is the youngest of Chuck and Karisa Stegeman's three children.