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Northern Michigan semi-pro football team heads to Miami Sunshine Bowl this weekend

PETOSKEY—The Northern Michigan Panthers had a perfect 9-0 season in the Great Michigan Football Conference, taking home the Greater Midwest Football Conference trophy back in August.

The league runs all summer long, with games May through August.

“It’s kind of a grind,” head coach John Delis said. “These are guys who have families and games are pretty much every Saturday [of the summer] and we practice on Sundays.”

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The Conference win secured them a spot in this weekend’s coveted Sunshine Bowl in Miami, Florida.

Since winning the conference title at the end of the summer, the team has still had dedicated practices on Sundays- the only time they can all get together.

“The biggest thing is staying committed during the week,” running back Matt Schwab said. “A lot of guys have to put in extra commitment to make sure that happens.”

The team will be going up against the Catawba County Hornets out of North Carolina, a team right guard Jeremiah Ecker describes as fast and competitive.

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Luckily, their QB1 Zach Parman isn’t phased.

“They’re big, they’re strong, they hit very hard… but we fought through so much adversity over the years inside and outside of the organization, so I think we’ll be okay,” he said.

Kickoff is set for Sunday at noon at Miami’s Curtis Field.

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