Clare Eyes Postseason Return in 2016

CLARE – A 5-4 record at the end of the season would be an accomplishment for most high school football teams around the state. But at Clare, the bar is set higher.

Clare’s 5-4 finish in 2015 marked the program’s 10th straight winning season. But it also signaled the end to Clare’s streak of nine consecutive postseason appearances. That, coupled with Sanford Meridian ending Clare’s stranglehold on the Jack Pine Conference, made for a disappointing year.

With more of an emphasis on the running game this fall, the Pioneers look to return atop the JPC standings.

"We’re emphasizing the ground game,” longtime coach Kelly Luplow said. “We haven’t had a very good one the last couple of years, so we’re looking to become a lot better up front, to allow us to run the ball more."

Some 10 seniors are back in 2016, and among those returning for the Pioneers is all-state quarterback Travis Vida.

“This year I’m definitely ready to run the ball, and you know, definitely use my arm, too,” Vida said.

Clare once again challenges itself with a pair of non-league contests against perennial state powers to open the season. The Pioneers host Ithaca on Aug. 26 and travel to Beal City on Sept. 2. 

Categories: Football