By: Nate Schneider
Life after Bruce Mann begins for Midland Dow
By Nate Schneider
The Bruce Mann era is in the past at Midland Dow.
A standout quarterback for the Chargers the last two seasons, Mann helped pave the way to a combined 19-4 record and a 2015 Division 2 district championship.
Mann helped continue the recent successes Midland Dow football has had, with playoff appearances each of the last four years. Prior to that, the Chargers had qualified for the postseason only eight times during the MHSAA playoff era and never more than two seasons in a row.
To the program’s credit, it does own a state championship as the 1976 squad downed Lincoln Park and Farmington Hills Harrison in a pair of close games to win the Class A trophy.
But until recent years, Dow has struggled to keep a consistently good product on the field.
Mann, who is now entering his freshman year as a Saginaw Valley State University quarterback, is a big reason why.
The prolific passing ability of Mann was on display during his junior year as he threw for 2,934 yards with 37 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while rushing for 680 yards and 10 TDs. Midland Dow finished the year 10-2, defeating Fenton 41-14 to win a second playoff game in the same postseason for the first time since 1999. The Chargers lost 35-14 to Walled Lake Western the following week in regionals.
Mann continued his outstanding play in 2016, with more blowouts lessening his time on the field. He still managed to throw for 1,887 yards during the regular season plus more in two playoff games, tossing 24 TDs against only five interceptions. He also rushed for 594 yards and four scores.
After Dow defeated Bay City Central 55-14 in a D2 pre-district game, Mann’s career ended as Fenton got a measure of revenge by topping the Chargers in a 49-42 shootout to win the district.
While Mann’s career is only beginning to blossom as he graduated early from Midland Dow so he could take part in SVSU spring ball, the question for the Chargers is who replaces him?
The task will not be easy, but finding the correct choice could be the difference between Dow continuing its upward trend or crashing back down to earth.
Only time will tell.