By Craig Beilfuss

WHITEHALL–Whitehall football standout Graycen Shepherd recently signed his national letter of intent to continue his career at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

Last season, Shepherd helped lead Whitehall to an 11-1 record, a West Michigan Conference Lakes Division title and a district championship. Shepherd was named First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Area and was selected to the Muskegon Area Dream Team. 

Shepherd was primarily a defensive end for Whitehall, but also played tight end, H-Back and linebacker for the Vikings. 

The 6-3, 240-pound lineman is a three-year varsity starter. However, during his junior season, he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him the entire year.

“I chose NMU because of the family aspect I felt there,” Shepherd said. “It reminded me of Whitehall and my team, which made it super easy to fit in and be who I am.”

During his football career, Shepherd was selected First Team All-Conference three years and All-Area two years.

Photo courtesy of LSJ Photographer Leo Valdez

“My time at Whitehall has been amazing,” Shepherd said. “It has really developed me into the player and person I am today. It has shown me what a football program is and how it should be. From senior to freshman, everyone was on the same page. We had the best coaches coupled with kids who were eager to learn and coachable which made all the hard parts of being a Viking football player pretty easy. “
Northern Michigan University is a Division II college and a member of the GLIAC. The Wildcats are coming off a season where they finished 4-7 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
Shepherd, who has a 4.0 grade-point-average, plans to major in Psychology or Fish and Wildlife Services at NMU. He is the son of Matt and Stacy Shepherd.

Photo courtesy of LSJ Photographer Leo Valdez