Justin Posthuma leads PCC's new area cast into battle
Football: Quarterback returns from injury to lead fresh, but promising incoming group.
Former St. Francis High quarterback Justin Posthuma will look to lead the Pasadena City College football team this year. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer / August 22, 2012)
For six months, the Pasadena City College quarterback relied heavily on it to transport himself around campus. And whenever someone spotted him, Posthuma usually heard some version of the same question.
“They would ask me, ‘How fun is that thing?’ And I said, ‘I’d much rather be walking,'“ he recalled. “I wasn't a big fan of people asking me about the scooter. I was kind of irritated by it.”
After a record-setting performance in his Lancer debut, Posthuma suffered a season-ending injury in the following game. He underwent Lisfranc surgery in September to repair a sprain on his right foot and spent the ensuing months rehabilitating. During that time, he heard from naysayers — some who said he’d never play again. Posthuma simply shrugged it off.
Now, after having fully recovered, Posthuma, an All-CIF standout at St. Francis High, looks to guide the Lancers into the upcoming season, starting with the Sept. 1 opener at Citrus.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that [the injury] made me want to work harder, but it made me feel like I had to get back and prove everybody wrong,” he said. “People said I’d never come back from the injury, but I never believed it.”
By all accounts, Posthuma worked feverishly during the rehabilitation process to get a better grasp of the playbook under second-year coach Fred Fimbres, while also improving his upper-body strength. He returns this season, however, with a large cast of newcomers.
Fimbres estimates the Lancers have 120 players in practice. While he understands he can’t suit up the entire fleet, he said he’d try to field a sizable chunk — a problem he didn’t have last year with a considerably smaller roster. This season, he'll carry less than 20 returners.
PCC has four or five freshmen vying to be Posthuma’s primary receivers, including Riian Simpson (an All-Area first-team selection from Pasadena High), Chetachi Jackson (All-City Section pick from West Adams Prep), Jeremiah Andrade and Kelson Laboy. There’s also freshman Micah Shirley, a 2010 All-CIF Northeast selection from Bellarmine-Jefferson.
Unlike past years, the Lancers have a stable of promising running backs, featuring freshmen Zander Anding (an All-CIF Southeast Division selection from Burroughs High), Marciss Grigsby and Cameron Washington.
“We’re really excited with these three individuals because of what they each bring to the table,” offensive coordinator Shandon Silva said. “All three of them are really hard to bring down. All three of them are physical runners. All three of them have great vision. And all three of them have great power.
“So what we’re looking to do with this group is to go ahead and excel more at the run game than we’ve done in the past.”
Having depth at that position provides Fimbres with plenty of options and flexibility.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a three-headed monster at that position,” he said. “What’s exciting is that we have tailbacks that we busted our butts to recruit, and we were lucky enough to get all three of them.”
At linebacker, the Lancers return all-conference second-teamer Mike Sepulveda, who had 57 tackles, and Bryan Luna (Crescenta Valley), who notched 51. They also welcome in freshman Javon McElroy-Bradford, an All-Marine League first-team choice.
Dean Bisterfeldt, a returning starter who tallied 24 tackles and two sacks, and freshmen Gary London and Dalyou Pierson will anchor the defensive line. Gus Ferrat, a former All-CIF Southeast selection from Burroughs, provides depth at the position. And Jase To’omalatai (a 2010 returner), along with a freshman duo from Burroughs in Raul Martinez-Mier and Lester Quintana, will key the offensive line.
“We’re going to be young, but I think we’re talented and we’re working hard,” Fimbres said. “It’s hard to come out here Saturday, in the middle of the day, and line up in the heat and be excited about it.
“But they seem to be having fun. And we have enough of them to be rotating in fresh legs, so we’re excited about our depth.”
With a large number of incoming players, Fimbres realizes they’ll have to be “a little more simple” in certain areas heading into the season, but he’s OK with it.