Return to the Gridiron: Posen’s 2015 team
Preseason Outlook: Posen coach Greg Pietsch: “I think we’re going to improve, I really do. I think we’ve put a lot of time in in the weight room. I think we’ve put a lot of time in going to camp and we’ve got some experience coming back.”
Final Record: 10-1
Season in Review: Since the Vikings began playing 8-Player football in 2009, the 2015 team remains one of their best teams on both sides of the ball.
Posen’s 2015 team was a well-rounded, well-oiled machine that left opponents behind in a hurry. The Vikings opened the season with a dominant win over Stephenson and then rolled past Pellston, Ewen-Trout Creek and Bellaire. Posen won closer games against Pickford and Cedarville, but picked up steam again, rolling past Onaway, Bromley and Charlton Heston to finish the regular season 9-0.
Posen’s playoff matchups were rematches from the regular season and the Vikings didn’t shy away from the moment. They rallied for 14 points in the final nine minutes to beat Pickford 48-38 for their first playoff win since 2004. Unfortunately for Posen, its season ended in the regional finals the next week against Cedarville in a 22-20 overtime loss, where the Trojans denied Posen on a game-tying two-point conversion.
Two Posen players, quarterback Travis Sharpe and running back Skylar Tulgestke, earned all-state honors, five players–Sharpe, Tulgestke, Levi Romel, Evan Schuch and Darren Dubie were named to the all-Alpena News team. Sharpe earned Player of the Year honors for his outstanding two-way play, which included 36 offensive touchdowns, more than 2,200 offensive years and 12 interceptions on defense.
James’ take: Since Pietsch took over the program in 2014, every Posen team has been hard working and well-coached with some great athletes. But the 2015 squad is one of Posen’s all-time best and no one personified that athleticism and strong work ethic more than Sharpe. The senior quarterback–who was once called a warrior by Pietsch–willed Posen to victory against Pickford in the playoffs, even shaking off an injury to do it. The next week, Posen lost by the slimmest of margins, despite another strong game.
This is another tough one. Posen’s had some great teams under Pietsch, but to me, none were quite as dominant as the 2015 Vikings.