2002 Football Season: "Bona-fied"!
“A “Bone” afide” Season”: The Building of the future”!
by Coach Steve Lyga
With the loss of 13 seniors, we’ve got a great deal of work to do.
Would this new version of Pirate football, even have a clue?
Recently, the expectations of this program, means we have a big job ahead.
Do we have what it takes to be competitive, or are C-FC’s winning ways dead?
With 20 of the 22 positions open, new “mates” would move up the ranks.
Are these student-athletes first year soldiers, or will they come to play like tanks?
A new set of coaches we’d have to develop, as family responsibilities would take their toll.
Madland is running the defense, Coach Shields and Coach Stephen are in the fold.
Some of our community members, also answered the call.
Coach Marcott, Ritscher, and Kvistad volunteered their time for our kids and football.
Daryl Crowson is back again, managing the team’s equipment and other gear.
Jesse B. is still our “waterboy”, our new manager,Alex Jacquardt is with us this year.
Just who will be the “admiral”, to guide this new and rebuilt Pirate fleet?
We have weight lifters Pichner and McFarlin, and Andre’s sense of humor is always a treat!
Scott is our lone returning starter, on the offensive side of the ball.
We’re really depending on his leadership, for our offense to run or crawl.
Henry Pichner, our middle line backer, is the only full season starter back on “D”.
But McFarlin, Ratz, Rice, and Duellman, have the experience to make us believe.
Things started out looking a little bleak, to begin our 2002 season.
When an injury to running back Nick Lorenz, a “4 wheeler” was the reason.
The 2002 campaign began with the Devils of Plum City, a “losing streak” on the line.
We would put these young men to the test, and just hope things turn out fine.
The Pirates took the first drive down the field, but fumbled the ball away on the four.
A second chance to drive the ball, after two plays, we dropped the ball once more.
It took a while, but things finally clicked, we “exorcised” the devils that night,
A 25 to 8 victory , finally... a C-FC football season started off just right.
The Burros of Lanesboro were next in line, as to Minnesota we would cruise.
They were also one win and no losses, this game we just couldn’t lose.
Another slow start for the Pirates, as we fumbled the opening kick-off away.
Lightning does strike twice, as again, we fumbled the ball on the very first play.
Being down 6 to 0 to the Burros, fired up our ‘Pichner led” defense right on time.
Then, Jordon Duellman’s 67 yard TD run and kick, finally put Lanesboro behind.
It didn’t take long for the score to swell, by half time it was 21 to six.
A 28-18 non-conference win, everyone who was suited up got in the mix.
With a 2 and 0 record, we guided our ship to Alma-Gilmanton’s port of call.
The Riverman are also 2 and 0. Could we maintain our streak, and hold onto the ball?
Our very first drive went 61 yards for a TD, , Oh Wow!, No fumbles or drops.
This is great! Let’s keep this rolling. We could get used to this starting the game on top.
Oops, I spoke too soon, two fumbles and an interception to boot.
But the fans are excited, the players are pumped up, It’s time to “pillage and loot”.
A 14 to zero lead at the half, our defense has stepped up its game.
Andre and Ratz are smashing people, Abts and Williams are doing the same.
But the Rivermen weren’t about to let us go, they kept the heat on til the final gun.
An exciting 21 to 13 victory. An incredible 3 straight games we’ve won!
Independence stood next in line. Our 3 an 0 record would be put to the test.
If our offensive line could stop the Indee’s blitz, our defense could do the rest.
A 6 to 0 lead with seconds left in the half, our backs to our goal line was real clear.
A 4th down punt was inevitable, but not a size 12 shoe up the rear.
We backed into our own punter, the Indees fell on the ball for a TD.
A 7 to 6 deficit at the half, youthful mistakes you could really see.
Three straight times we touched the ball, we fumbled them all away.
But a very solid defense kept us in the game, as 7 to 6 it would stay.
In the third, a “4th and 9 to go”, the Indees score on a 20 yard touchdown pass.
Would this young team roll over and play dead, or would that straw be the last?
Special teams answered the call, as Kevin Rice and company took over from there.
A 75 yard kick-off return, and Duellman blasted through for the tying pair.
Now with a fourteen to fourteen score, our offense finally got on a roll.
A 70 yard touchdown drive, Tim Hermann rambled in through a monstrous hole.
At 21-14, we weren’t finished yet, ‘cause on the very next Pirate possession
The Indees defense retreated 57 yards, an option play sealed their recession.
An impressive 27-14 defeat, of last year’s conference champion and rival.
Our kids, it seems, stepped up real big, when it came to our conference survival.
Oh my gosh, we’re 4 and 0, Could the start of this season be for real?
Who would have guessed that this young team, could have sprung all of this that we feel?
On the bus to Eleva-Strum, a couple of players “should” have been left behind.
Coming late to the departing bus, made all of the coach’s teeth grind.
Let’s keep this feeling and get the game going, the overall size of the Cards will be tough.
They have a bunch of seniors, a lot of kids back, this was going to be incredibly rough.
The very first drive, took only three plays, Jordon Duellman scored on an 81 yard run.
One minute gone and an extra point kick, this evening was starting out to be fun.
The Cardinals, who were 3 and 1, answered the score with a drive of their own.
A forty-five yard scamper by the Cardinal’s human truck, and a tie score was shown.
Touchdowns were traded and just after the half, a twenty to twenty score was shared.
It appeared we recovered the onside kick, but it was taken away as we all just stared.
A 50 yard drive put the Cards up by 6, as the third quarter came to an end.
A safety and kick return touchdown had us spinning, our defense had no chance to defend.
But senior Kevin Rice and the special teams rose up, as a 77 yard return crossed the goal.
But the conversion run came up just short. 35 to 26, we were in the hole.
Three series later, we scored again, but by a 35 to 32 score, we would fall.
The offense out gained the powerful Cardinals of Eleva-Strum. 369 to 301 yards in all.
How will we recover after losing this game, will we come back with guns-a firing?
The undefeated Mustangs are next in line, to knock them off would be so inspiring.
A solid battle through almost 3 quarters, found us with a 7 to 7 tie.
A mistaken “late hit” penalty on our defense, kept the Melrose drive alive.
Our defense was still playing pretty well, but another “late hit” flag on 3rd and long.
Allowed the mustangs a final score, as a 21-7 defeat, continued our losing song.
We’re still 4 and 2, let’s get this thing rolling again, as we sailed to the Norsemen’s home.
A whole bunch of seniors on this team too. Would there be open waters to roam?
Within a minute of the first kick-off, the score stood even at eight to eight.
But a number of fumbles, a number of flags, soon we determined our own fate.
Our heads hung kind of low as we headed out of town, from a game that we could’ve won.
Our youth and inexperience was really beginning to show, losing was certainly no fun.
We’re not done yet, there’s still games we could win, if only we didn’t make mistakes.
The Wildcats of Blair-Taylor would come into town, Oh,no! More seniors at the plate.
The 14 to 6 lead the Wildcats had held at half, was gradually slipping away.
The Pirates drove down the field and scored, but the 2 point conversion was taken away.
Three more series had come to a halt, as the Wildcats defense held tight.
A desperation interception with time running out, sealed the 20-12 win for the night.
Let’s end this year the way it began, let’s finish it all off with a win.
This was supposed to be the Hornet’s year, the playoffs they should surely get in.
The playoffs are probably out of reach for both teams, so this game is played for pride.
I guess we are now building for the upcoming year, and know in our hearts we tried.
The Hornets once again outsized us, there were also 14 seniors on their roster.
A punishing defense against our run, we were forced to come out a toss ‘er.
A back and forth defensive battle til the half, but the Pirates had a 14 point lead.
Three touchdowns called back in the final two minutes, but 14 to 8 we did succeed.
Overall considering that we were so young, the season actually turned out quite swell.
We, once again finished over 500, and the defense still played pretty well.
Next year, we’ll be the ones with the seniors, a two hundred pound line we should crack.
With 16 to 17 starters returning, it’s quite possible to bring the championship back.
I hate to have to say it, but it’s really up to each and every kid.
Are we really going to be satisfied, but what other teams in front of us have did?
For our kids to accomplish a championship, we’ll have to spend time in the weight room.
The possibilities are in place, for these student-athletes to really bloom.
A special thank you to the fans, parents, and grandparents, who support the kids each day.
And thanks for all of the good things to eat, after each game that we played.
As we bring this football season to a close, we pass the torch to a winter sport.
We wish each and every student-atlete, success in powerlifting, the mat or the court.
Seniors; may each day be blessed with the support and love of your family and friends.
The close of another chapter in you life, what’s up next is a beginning, not an end!