Oscoda opts out of postseason

When the Michigan High School football playoffs resume, the Oscoda Owls won’t be among those teams participating.

Citing safety reasons and a lack of available players, the Owls recently announced that they’ve opted out of the postseason. The decision was reported by the Oscoda Press and MLive.com on Monday.

The playoffs are slated to resume next month and the Owls were scheduled to face Traverse City St. Francis in a Division 7 regional final.

The decision ends arguably the greatest season in program history. Oscoda went 9-0 for the third time in program history–joining the 1961 and 1964 teams.

The 2020 team however was one for the ages. The Owls scored a program record 423 points, an average of 47 points per game and allowed just 68 points, an average of 7.5 per game. The Owls earned playoff wins over St. Louis, Beaverton and Evart, while scoring more than 50 points in a game five different times.

Oscoda began the season with five shutout victories and allowed just six points in the regular season.

A record-setting season brought a slew of honors for Oscoda players.

Last week, lineman Gavin Lueck was named to the Associated Press Division 7-8 All-State second team, quarterback Owen Franklin, receiver Drew Hess, lineman Kaden Schirmer and linebacker Caleb Nagel all earned honorable mentions and coach Mark Whitley was named to the second team.

Franklin was chosen as the 2020 Player of the Year on the All-Alpena News 11-Player team after accounting for nearly 1,800 yards of offense and 28 touchdowns. He was named to the all-North Star League first team and led the area in rushing (900 yards) and passing (883 yards).

Hess was a Michigan High School Football Coaches Association selection and led the area in receiving with 440 yards and four touchdowns.

Schirmer earned all-North Star league and MHSFCA honors while being an anchor for the Owls at left tackle.

Lueck was an MHSFCA pick, recorded 50 tackles and 16.5 tackles with three fumbles and 8.5 sacks.

Nagel earned all-North Star League honors and 42 tackles.

Lineman Christopher Thompson, linebacker Anthony Ward and defensive back Zach Ouillette were also named to the all-Alpena News team.

Whitley earned a regional coach of the year award from the MHSFCA and was named Coach of the Year on the all-Alpena News team for the second straight season.

The football postseason will resume with 8-player semifinals and 11-Player regional finals played on Jan. 9.

The 8-Player finals and 11-Player semifinals will be played on Jan. 16 and the 11-Player finals will be played Jan. 22-23.


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