1999 Pirate Football: A Thousand Windin Roads!
A Thousand Winding Roads
(Road Trip ‘99)
A new season is upon us, a new building located on our field.
Plans made for our upcoming season, it’s newness held appeal.
A newness in the coaching staff, Matt Meendering and Randy Knecht are gone,
Could Scott Noll and Mitch Madland, bring this team along?
Another coach, Jamey Olson, was working with us and giving his all,
He worked with the line, he punted and kicked, and helped by returning the ball.
All of our home games, originally scheduled to be played at WSU.
Had to be canceled, when a charge for playing the games there, came through.
With a bill for over $500 per game, our season on the new “Turf” was lost.
Only Homecoming would be acceptable, we were willing to pay that cost .
With very low numbers, in the Junior and Senior ranks,
We were still rebuilding, with untested “cannons and tanks”.
With no place to practice our plays, and the choices very few.
Let’s use the sandy and hilly elementary playground, would just 70 yards do?
This season would definitely be a challenge, with all of the adversity.
Would this new group of players, rise to the top for me?
To play football, you need dedication, and a desire to maintain your grades,
Nine players were ineligible, when our first travel plans were made.
Out-manned from the start, with one-fourth of the team not dressed,
We headed North to Plum City, for the season’s inaugural test.
A solid game was played, until the fourth quarter had come around.
A defeat by the Blue Devils, sent this “Pirate Ship” aground.
A positive point, if there is any, of the Pirate’s loss that day,
Was the return of 3 starting lineman, who next week will get to play.
With only 12 Juniors and Seniors combined, compared to G-E-T’s forty-three,
It ended up a tough match-up, for the undersized Pirates that you see.
A very close game, until an injury caused a twenty minute delay,
The emotional high we came in with, just didn’t seem to stay.
When the ambulance had finally left, both teams were well rested,
A screen pass for a touchdown, and the Pirate’s defense was “Bested”.
A field goal made, and another one waved off,
Was all we could muster, as our offense sputtered and coughed.
It was then off to Blair-Taylor, last season, the Dairyland’s best.
It was evident from the start, this would be another night of unrest.
A thirty-five point deficit at half time, couldn’t be overcome.
Once again too many mistakes, left the Pirates feeling numb.
An 0 and 3 start, could this season be real?
All of our opponents were still undefeated, just what is the deal?
Another long road trip, Boy! We just couldn’t wait.
Melrose-Mindoro has a solid core back, just what would be our fate?
The defense actually played well together, except for a couple of big plays.
The offense just wasn’t ticking, coming together may take more days.
Our homecoming game, originally planned for Winona State.
Had to be canceled because of the lighting, such was our season’s fate.
So we played the game at Alma’s field, No closer could we get.
The Norse were coming to town, no wins between the two teams yet.
The defense would bend, but never give up.
A twenty-eight point lead, the starters had played enough.
A late touchdown by the Norsemen, against our second squad.
Couldn’t spoil our homecoming victory, a win on foreign sod.
Lincoln was next for the Pirate eleven, who had finally found the mix,
Another “home game” on the road, this one in the Conference’s sticks.
With the home game being played, an hour and a half away,
It would only be fitting that players’ equipment, was left at home that day.
Some shoes had to be rented, some thigh pads swapped for a tee,
Kept the season flowing, through the rain and snow and sleet.
The option started to pick up some steam, points were put on the board,
Again the starters were rested, as the Lincoln Hornets eventually scored.
Then came the game of greatest importance, a trip to Alma was in line,
Both teams 2 and 2 in conference, an unbalanced wishbone to be confined.
As with normal rivalry games, the records could be thrown away,
The Pirates could win 3 in a row, if they would come to play.
Team tackling was the name of the game, as the Rivermen’s axe was broke,
Kneeling at the one at the end of the game, words didn’t have to be spoke.
No one was happier than coach Scott Noll, his high school memories found,
An exciting game, an exciting play, Coach Lyga’s hat knocked to the ground.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling, of defeating your old school,
Who says you can’t go home again....., to him it was pretty cool.
Off to Independence we traveled, a play-off birth on the line.
Certainly favored to win this one, everything was coming together just fine.
We came out fired up, we had two early scores.
But, it just wasn’t enough; apparently Indee wanted it more.
The defense hit incredibly hard, yet a gap by our defense was let be.
A blocked field goal and final drive, a win wasn’t meant to be.
Our play-off hopes were shocked, yet we were still alive,
A powerful E-S Central team was up next, Could we somehow survive?
The first half was ugly at best, missed tackles were the reason.
The swirling wind in the second half, would aid in ending our season.
The season ended just as it began, but we seemed to mature as a team,
A bunch of exposure for our younger kids, makes our future hopes beam.
We’ll certainly miss our seniors, even though we only had a few (6).
The leadership they provided, really helped the underclassmen through.
Through it all we hope we have grown, into a “team” of young men.
We had just missed making the playoffs, but a message we did send.
We’ll be back next year, with loftier goals on our mind.
The play-off birth for sure (?), and the conference race not far behind.
We’ll get the team in the weight room, we’re not big so we’ll have to be strong.
We’ll create our own success story, we would like all of you to come along.
Back us in our journey, try to give us support each and every day.
We feel we’ll be the team of the new century, things are turning our way!
Thank you too all the parents and fans, who made our season of “travel” bearable at best.
A “Thousand Winding Roads” and “Put ‘er in the Big Gear” seem to say it best.