Return to the Gridiron: Mio’s 2010 team
News Sports Editor James Andersen is taking a look back at football teams from the last 10 years, offering his view of the best team from each of the nine schools in The News’ coverage area in the span.
Preseason Outlook: Mio coach Jim Gendernalik: “We want to win the North Star League and we want to qualify for the playoffs. We’ve been to the playoffs 12 of the last 13 years and we’re proud of that.”
Final Record: 7-5
Season in review: Focused on finishing better in 2010, the Thunderbolts were a team loaded with talent in 2010. Mio returned four junior starters to the offensive line, a do-it-all quarterback in Grant Price–another junior–two senior running backs and a senior receiver. The Thunderbolts had some question marks defensively, but had a team full of talented athletes.
Mio stumbled out of the gate with a loss to Whittemore-Prescott, but rebounded with wins over Atlanta and Arenac Eastern. The Thunderbolts went on to beat North Huron, Au Gres and Hale in the regular season, finishing with a 5-4 record.
In the postseason, Mio kicked things into another gear, gaining revenge against Hillman after a loss in the regular season, routing Cedarville and ultimately falling to Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart, 56-14, in the Division 8 regional finals.
Seventeen Thunderbolts were honored by the North Star League and two–Price and lineman Eli Koslakiewicz were named to the All-Alpena News team.
James’ take: Mio has had a lot of great teams over the years, but the 2010 squad was the perfect combination of athletes who helped the Thunderbolts advance further than they had since 1997. To me, Price’s performance in the postseason is what sets this team apart. In three games, Price accounted for nearly 1,000 yards of offense and 12 touchdowns, including an eight-touchdown, 462 performance against Cedarville. Mio went on to have similar success in 2011, but the work the Thunderbolts put in during the 2010 season set the tone for several years of future success. The 2010 postseason also marked Mio’s last district title as the Thunderbolts have since transitioned to eight-player football.