Male Athlete of the Month: Michael Furtney

Michael Furtney, photo submitted by Ellen Furtney male athlete Nov 2017

By Balinda Zimmerman
Michael Furtney (Mike) was born August, 2000 at St. Joe Hospital to Matt and Ellen  Sackett Furtney who lived in Deerfield, Michigan at the time. The family later welcomed Evan who is two years younger than his brother, Michael. 
Ellen Furtney was an all around athlete at Britton high school playing basketball, track, and volleyball, and she was a cheerleader. Matt participated in track and was a defensive end and right guard for the Britton football team. It was inevitable they would have boys who are extremely athletic in nature.
Michael began playing flag football at age four. In fourth grade, he played quarterback and then as he grew he moved to different positions within the game from full back to tight end. On defense he has played both linebacker and defense line. When Michael hit a growth spurt early into high school everyone knew he was going to be larger than life.  Before his junior year, he was already at 6’5” and 280 lbs. of solid muscle.
In track, Michael participates in shot put and discus, placing third in state in 2016 with the shot put and twelfth in discus. He hopes to be a four-time All-State athlete before he graduates.
At MHS Michael takes Senior Wing, Engineering, Personal Finance, Science and Nutrition, and also works with Peer Mediation. He has three “buddies” he works with to guide and help them with acceptance issues both in and outside of school. He also donates his time alongside his dad in Monroe County at the Mobile Food Pantries and has been a flag football coach in Milan for the past two years.
Michael first began sending film to University of Wisconsin (UW) during his sophomore year of high school. The college coach then made contact with MHS coach, Jesse Hoskins, who confirmed the interest and Michael began communications back and forth expressing his interest in the college. He went for a two-hour tour and worked with the recruiter and offensive coordinator to lay out a plan for him to achieve in order to become a part of their program.
In January, 2017 Michael received the formal invitation to play for Division I, UW and by the time he committed to them in March he had already received twenty-six D-I offers. To date, he has received thirty D-I offers, including those from Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell and Harvard.
Michael explained that Twitter has become a huge recruiting tool for high school students to get in touch with college coaches and staff. On October 29, 2017 Michael was offered (via Twitter) a spot in the Offense Defense Top 88 All-American Bowl to be played in New Orleans between Christmas 2017 and New Year’s of 2018. MHSAA rules state that he must get approval before accepting the offer or he cannot participate in any other sport during the remainder of his high school career. He can only get a pass from the MHSAA for one “bowl game.” Ellen explained that Mike has offers from the Blue-Grey All American Bowl and the NUC All-American Bowl, but has turned them down due to the MHSAA rule.
Mike was able to gain MHSAA approval on October 30, 2017 and plans to accept the Offense Defense Top 88 All-American Bowl offer. To our knowledge, he will be the first MHS football player to participate in such an event. It appears as though a fantastic football career lies ahead for Michael. He is a well mannered, well liked and deserving young athlete who works hard and we wish him all the best in his journey.

Balinda Zimmerman is owner/operator at Milan Memories by Minna, and a freelance writer for the Milan Eagle News. She can be reached atbalindaz [at] comcast [dot] net

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