ALBION — The football pipeline from the Eastern UP to Albion College is open.


Albion has tapped into a steady stream of talent from the EUP in recent seasons. Headlining the recent EUP-to-Albion connection is Chase Bouschor of Sault Ste. Marie, who recently wrapped a distinguished four-year career for the Britons.


Bouschor was a three-time All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) performer. He received the Pete Schmidt Memorial Award as the MIAA's top football scholar-athlete, was Albion’s Senior Student-Athlete of the Year, while also being named to the 2020 class of the Hampshire Honors Society.


“I have to say Chase is one of the best offensive linemen I’ve coached, and maybe one of the best student-athletes I’ll ever coach,” Albion football head coach Dustin Beurer said. “Chase has come so far in his development on and off the field, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He’s an over-achiever in everything he does. He’s the epitome of what we look for at Albion.”


Bouschor began his Albion career as a defensive lineman, and as typical of most college freshmen making the transition to competing against bigger and faster players, didn’t make a major impact on the team. In his sophomore season however, it all changed when he switched to offense. He found a home at right guard and he would anchor the line from that spot for the next three years.


“When he came in as a freshman he was a somewhat average student, and in football just trying to find some playing time,” Beurer said. “He started as a defensive lineman. I was coaching offensive line at the time, and I could see Chase was a little frustrated because he wasn’t playing much. In practice though, he was making us take notice. This kid was kicking some butt, giving our linemen fits trying to block him. So I told our head coach at the time, that I’d love to have him play offensive line.


“Chase came in next fall and settled in at right guard, and he ended up starting at that spot for three years,” Beurer said. “We could have used him at center as well, but he fit at guard and it was working so we went with it. He just kept working and getting better. He was an all-conference second team pick twice, nearly missing first team. Then in his senior year, he was all-conference first team.”


Bouschor, listed at 5-foot-10, 270 pounds, was a senior leader on the offensive line as Albion generated 445 yards and 39 points per game. Albion finished the season with an 8-2 overall record and tied for second place in the MIAA with a 5-2 league record.


“He’s probably closer to 5-9, and also having shorter arms, that is usually a disadvantage for a lineman,” Beurer said. “But he makes up for it in different ways. Pound-for-pound, he’s the strongest guy on the team. He also has a strong wrestling background, and uses it in his blocking technique. He has such quick hands, that he’s able to swat away the defensive player’s hands. So strength, quick hands and explosive leverage, he finds a way to make it all work.”


Bouschor is graduating from Albion with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He has been accepted into the University of Michigan Social Work graduate program.


While Bouschor is moving on from Albion, four more EUP players are expected to be on the Brits roster this fall. Currently on the roster are Steve Seccia of St. Ignace and Jarron Masuga of Cedarville, and they will be joined by 2020 recruits Jimmy Storey of Pickford and Isaiah May of Pickford/Maplewood Baptist Academy.


“I’ve always appreciated the work ethic I’ve seen from U.P. guys,” Beuer said. “I had two teammates, the Stempki brothers from St. Ignace, at Albion when I played. They were tough, and hard workers. I see a lot of the same traits in our recent recruits. We’re definitely looking to keep up our recruiting footprint in the U.P.”


Masuga completed his freshman football season as an outside linebacker at Albion was Seccia finished his junior year at quarterback for the Britons. Masuga, Storey and May were all-state performers, competing against each other many times in high school in the 8-Player Great Lakes 8 East Division. Storey and May were part of Pickford’s 2019 state championship team in 8-Player Division 2.


“Football is football,” Beurer said. “If we like what we see from a player, the high school division they compete in doesn’t matter.


“We’re happy to have Isaiah and Jimmy join our program,” Beuer said. “I really like what I’ve seen on film from both of them. Getting two players from a state championship team is a nice bonus for us, and for them.”