In the eyes of some, it’s just fine to be the John Stockton & Karl Malone Utah Jazz. It’s acceptable to be the 90’s Buffalo Bills or the modern day Houston Rockets. It’s good enough to just be relevant and in the conversation.
Marshfield is not a place that accepts this mindset. It’s been 27 years since the Pirates last walked off the field with a 1st place trophy, and to most in Coos Bay it has been 27 years too many.
Marshfield graduated a plethora of 2018 all-state offensive selections, including first team all-state OL Greg Stump, second team TE Corey Stover, C Gannon Holland, OL Aidan Adams, and honorable mention selections like QB Grant Woosley, RB Sirus Robie and WR Jacob Carpenter. Seven all-state offensive players graduated for the Pirates, but two honorable mention all-state selections will return in RB Josiah Niblett and K Arturo Ledesma.
On the defensive side Marshfield lost first team all-state DL Corey Stover and DB Chase Howerton, second team all-state DL Greg Stump, and LB Tristan Lemmons. Returning to the Pirate defense will be second team all-state LB Josiah Niblett and Honorable Mention P Arturo Ledesma (same guys that return on offense). The Pirates graduated a total of ten all-state selections, but it’s Marshfield. In the past two seasons, the Pirates have come so close. Losing the 2017 state title game to Cottage Grove and losing in the 2018 state semifinals by a touchdown to the eventual state champions in Banks. The experience and culture of the program does not allow for mediocrity.
Coach Lemmons, when asked about the turnover on the roster, said: “The kids are working hard and are improving daily. Fall Camp has been positive and we look to compete for a league championship then ultimately compete for that elusive state title. We are excited about the effort of this new young squad.”
Marshfield has a pretty challenging 2019 schedule. In week 1 they’ll face cross-town rival North Bend in a contest that the Bulldogs took 23-21 last season. Coach Lemmons added: “We’re looking to upset a very talented 5A North Bend team in the oldest rivalry game in the state.” The next week the Pirates will host preseason #2 and 2018 state semi-finalist Gladstone, a game the pirates took 20-17 at Gladstone last year. Their tough schedule continues Week 4 as they face preseason #9, and the team that beat them in the 2017 state title game, Cottage Grove. The final challenge the Pirates will face comes in week 8 as they host preseason #4 Marist Catholic. The Pirates beat the Spartans 21-14 last season, so we expect a close matchup again this year.
We project that this young Pirate team will do just what Coach Lemmons thinks they will do, compete for a league title. We have them projected between 7-1 and 5-3. Some underclassmen are going to have to step up in some big positions down in Coos Bay this season, and we have reason to believe they will rise to the challenge.