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Rutland High School wide receiver Slade Postemski (31) runs with the ball after making a completion in the first half versus Essex High during a matchup at Alumni Field.

Essex football coach Marty Richards had big praise for Rutland senior Slade Postemski after the Hornets eliminated RHS in the Division I semifinals earlier in the month.

“Once (Slade) has the ball in his hands, he’s a beast,” Richards said on that chilly Friday night at Alumni Field. “That young man is a ‘dude.’ If he doesn’t get some serious honors, I’ll be surprised.”

The honors are already rolling in for Postemski and they are aplenty. In the Division I All-State team, he earned first-team honors for four different positions, wide receiver, kicker, returner and defensive back.

Postemski can add Rutland Herald football player of the year to his list of honors.

To be a dominant player, it takes hard work to get there. Postemski is a guy that put in that work.

“(Slade) came in as a guy who hadn’t played football until the ninth grade and he had to take his lumps and learn,” said longtime Rutland coach Mike Norman.

“He really came into his own last year with the 7-on-7 game. He worked really hard for us and showcased his athleticism.”

Postemski was a matchup nightmare for opposing defenders. He would get the moniker of “The Pony Express.” There was no stopping his train when it was rolling down the Alumni Field sidelines.

“(Slade) is one of the most explosive players I’ve seen,” Norman said. “He was able to make plays and teams had to game plan for him.”

There wasn’t much bottling Postemski up this fall. He would routinely find the back of the end zone multiple times a game. Even in a game where he was ‘held in check’ against Essex in the state semifinals, Postemski still caught three touchdowns.

Postemski’s connection with quarterback Trey Davine was evident throughout the season. Davine spread the ball around to many receivers, but he always knew he could count on Postemski to be there and make plays when got the ball in his hands.

“Trey had a great year as well, coming back from his injury. We didn’t know who our quarterback was going to be at the start of the season,” Norman said.

The connection between Postemski and Davine was evident in this past Saturday’s North-South game, where Davine made an improbable pass on the run to who else but Postemski.

Postemski’s ability to do it all for Rutland was a major factor in the team’s success. Not only was he an elite receiver, but he was elite in the secondary, a great returner and handled kicking duties.

Teammates could take lessons from his hard-working nature.

“Slade led by example, but he was vocal when he needed be,” Norman said. “Our entire senior class was great about setting the example.

“Credit to the kids, the season didn’t end the way we wanted, but that’s the nature of the game.”

Postemski’s football journey will take him to Bowdoin College next fall.

Before that, he has business to attend to on the basketball court with a Ravens team that has the makings of a Division I contender followed by a final season on the track in the spring.

adam.aucoin

@rutlandherald.com

Follow on Twitter: @AAucoin_RH

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