Two Harbors senior headed to All-Star Game
Two Harbors senior Steven Keech can't quite remember when he started playing football. He knows he's been doing so as far back as he can recall.
Although he can't remember when he started playing, the Agates defensive end is having a memorable senior year. His team made it to state for the first time in 41 years and he'll get a chance to play in the Minnesota Football Coaches Association All-Star Football Game on Dec. 15 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Steven is one of seven Two Harbors players to play in the game since 1945 — and he's the second member of his family to do so. His older brother, Tyler, played in the same position in 2016.
"It feels kind of surreal. It's pretty cool to have two family members play in this game," Steven said. "It's really exciting and something I've always wanted ever since my brother got selected for it."
Steven played football all through high school. What kept him coming back was the love of the "physicality of the game," he said.
"I've also always been a bigger body out on the field, so that gives me a good advantage," Steven said.
At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Steven comes in handy when playing on the defensive line. He said he enjoys playing on the defensive line more than the offensive.
"I feel like you have more freedom, but you also don't have to worry about a bunch of plays," Steven said. "Your job is the simple task of stopping the runner or getting to the QB. I've always been very competitive, so it's perfect for me."
Steven will take his defense skills with him next year to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he's signed to play Division I football.
"As a parent, I'm proud of his leadership as a captain, his character, willing to serve and help others, high academic standards he's set for himself and his dedication to working hard," said Steven's mother, Shelley Keech.
Steven will receive an academic scholarship, which he'll use to study mechanical engineering.
"Steven is a very coachable player who works extremely hard," Agates football coach Tom Nelson said. "It's a huge honor for Steven and the school itself. I'm excited to go and watch him play. We'll be cheering him on."
When he's not playing football, he can be found playing other sports such as baseball, hockey and golf. He's a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings, but his favorite players are fellow defensemen J.J. Watt of the Houston Texas and Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears. Both players inspired his uniform number selections in the past few years.
But his number for the All-Star Game will be 89 — the same number his brother wore during his All-Star Game two years ago.