EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Flint Powers Catholic can second-guess just about everything as for why its 9-0 regular season record didn't translate into a Division 5 state championship the way the 5-4 record from the Chargers a year ago did.
Just about everything except for senior quarterback Garrett Pougnet.
"I said earlier in the year that we would go as far as Garrett took us, and I think I was maybe trying to be a little too prophetic when I said that," Powers coach Bob Buckel said. "Garrett was outstanding all year. He was great for us on both sides of the ball, and we wouldn't have accomplished near what we did if not for him."
Calumet linebacker Clark Kangas wraps up a West Iron County ballcarrier during a Week 6 home game against the Wykons at Agassiz Field. Kangas was named to the Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State team released today. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
Pougnet completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,856 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 556 yards and another 10 scores to help lead Powers to the Saginaw Valley League South Division title and an 11-1 season. He highlights The Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State team as the Player of the Year.
"It's a great honor for him and really a testament to what we want to see from our program, because Garrett worked as hard as anybody," Buckel said. "He's just so competitive, and as a coach, when your best player is also your hardest worker, that just makes everything so much easier."
The Upper Peninsula was well represented on the Division 5-6 All-State Team, starting with Calumet linebacker Clark Kangas.
Kangas, a senior, was named U.P. Large School Defensive Player of the Year.
Despite missing a game against Division 7 finalist Ishpeming with a neck injury, Kangas accumulated 131 tackles - 61 solo and 17 for loss - in his eight game regular season. He also had three sacks.
Two Division 5 players - running back Reed Larson of Kingsford and defensive back Devon Harris of Menominee, also made the cut at their respective positions.
Buckel was named Coach of the Year for the Division 5-6 All-State team and has helped bring back the tradition of Powers Catholic football during his two seasons at the school.
"Powers has a rich football history, and we're just happy as a program to be able to have brought it back to where it had been," Buckel said. "The credit goes to the players, though. Especially the seniors. I told our kids when I got here that they were going to need to take ownership of the program, and they've done that."
Joining Pougnet on the Division 5-6 All-State team at the quarterback position is Ithaca junior Travis Smith. At running back, Derrick Nash of Carrollton, Nick VanDuser of Lake Fenton and Caleb Reinhart of Montrose were selected in addition to Larson.
Teo Redding of Warren Michigan Collegiate, Travis Bolin of Watervliet and Jack Swain of Lansing Catholic were named to the team as wide receivers, and Geovante Weston from Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central made the team as a specialist.
Solidifying a deep group of linemen were Zach Murphy of Muskegon Oakridge, Oden Gentry of Detroit Consortium, Curtis Doyle of Alma, Aaron Matthias of Hemlock, Jesse Micho of Frankenmuth, Donny Kyre of Olivet, Austin Hundley of Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard and Powers Catholic's Derek Trecha.
At the defensive positions, Jacob Marsh of Montague, James Brown of Detroit Consortium and Mitch Greenacre of Clare also made the team as linebackers. Jordan Hessbrook of Ithaca and Zach Hill from Kalkaska were also named as All-State defensive backs.
Marcus Prigge from Stockbridge was named as punter, and Dan Burns of Sanford-Meridian was named as the team's kicker.