2004 Season Rhyme: Pumped and Circumstances!
“Pumped and Circumstances”
By Coach Steve Lyga
We’re all Pumped up! Let’s get this show on the road. The team’s expectations are high.
Will this squad put it all together this year,.... or will we just play to get by?
At the season’s beginning, only thirty Pirate football players did we suit.
Will this number be high enough, for another Dairyland title pursuit?
For the past eleven years, our lowest total has been in the vicinity of forty-two.
Would we have enough to complete our mission? Would just 30 players do?
Through graduation we lost thirteen (13) seniors, from the season past.
Our work was really cut out for us, with very few returners to raise the mast.
Throughout the Spring and Summer months, the coaches met to develop a season plan.
But just prior to opening, two coaches left. To LaCrescent, Minnesota they ran.
In replacing the coaches who departed, volunteer coaches were asked to do more.
Jake Jackson would have to take the linemen by himself. Hundo would pick up extra chores.
Randy Knecht has returned to run the defense, after a couple of years hiatus.
Coach Zinger would again man the crow’s nest. His football knowledge we certainly missed.
As our practices began to take shape, a few more players did we add.
Some kids who hadn’t played football before. With 37 players, some depth we now had.
We decided to take a more professional approach, as the captains we did choose.
Interviews with neckties! Leadership may be the difference in whether we win or lose.
As for the number of senior football players, I guess we had quite a few.
We had newcomer receivers, Kramer and Pardun. Justin Julson back came out too!
With nearly all of last years backfield graduated, just who would rise to the top?
Adam Miemietz has good speed and the arm. Could he be the cream of the crop?
Jake Abts played some in the backfield last season, before he broke a bone in his neck.
John Baures and Mitch Platteter can play anywhere, and keep other guys in check.
Back at the halfback, Nick Lorenz’ size and speed, will give us an incredible threat.
Will he be durable enough to last the season? Because we just don’t have much depth.
Our line has two returning starters back. Ratz and Serjogins have pretty good size.
Ziegler, Hornberg, Stanton, Czaplewski and Pfeffer, will be needed to support these guys.
North to Osseo-Fairchild did we travel. In the scrimmage, we again held our own.
We got by without an injury. Though our numbers were really low, and it was shown.
To get the Pirate’s season up and running, the Plum City Blue Devils came to town.
With plenty of size and experience to boot, we just had to shut this team down.
We pounded the ball to Lorenz and Abts early, but fumbled some options away.
But we also capitalized on their mistakes, as we held the Blue Devils at bay.
A twenty (20) to nothing (0) lead at the half, would explode to thirty-six to zero after three.
The defense had numerous three and outs. The junior varsity played extensively. (36-13)
Circumstances forced us to make adjustments, as player’s past would catch up to us.
Matt Ziegler would be a center, Palkowski at tight end. Platteter at a guard we would trust.
Next in line stood the Lancers. With their size and all out numbers, this would be rough.
Their coaches know our players and play book by heart. Would Pirate talent be enough?
It was tough to use our signals. Our verbal plays the Lancer defense would call out.
We drove the ball well, but ran out of gas. We were the better team, no doubt.
Just three big plays against our stingy defense, for only 59 yards did they run.
But after an early ankle injury to Lorenz, three times did we stall at the one (yard line).
During this contest, our inexperience showed, as we fumbled two punts away.
Two interceptions in the end zone, a couple of big drops and changed plays.
Losing to a bigger school shouldn’t hurt us. We should learn from it and become stronger.
But the La Crescent team was fairly weak in talent, and the road was about to get longer.
A road trip to Lincoln followed. A team to whom the past eleven seasons we had not lost.
But inexcusable, unforced fumbles and poor tackling. A Dairyland victory, it cost. (25-8)
Despite the untimely fumbles and a couple of bad calls, our team stayed tougher than nails.
We can’t forget Mario’s TD jaunt and Pardun getting the wind knocked out of his sails.
Although this loss would cut us deep, the offensive line came together that night.
Spirited play led by Serjogins and Ratz, In these two, we recognized some fight.
As the next Pirate ship set sail, north to the Alma Rivermen’s port would we travel.
If we could somehow, get it together and win, the Pirate’s again would hold the gavel.
Though it was an incredible battle for the river, the Pirate’s pride again came to be.
Platteter had two interceptions and a block, Miemietz had 155 yards, and touchdowns he had 3.
The defense, again was playing incredibly tough, Baures and Abts delivered crushing blows.
The offensive game-plan played out the way it should, Julson and Serjogin’s strength arose.
At last our game was finally coming together, as we powered our way down the field.
Only one fumble, which we kept, and no turnovers to show, a 20-13 victory was sealed.
After three straight games on the road, the Pirates, once again played at home.
The Indees were our homecoming foe, it’s time to show how our team has grown.
After nearly three games on injured reserve, running back Nick Lorenz was back on the field.
We started all seniors on offense that night, the entire team was nearly all healed.
It was 35 to 0 with three minutes left in the half, as down the field we did tear.
But late touchdowns by the Indees in each half, a 41-14 victory did we snare.
It wasn’t just the offense that cruised, as the defense played ”big” as well.
Less than 200 yards were surrendered that night, the reserves even played a spell.
Pfeffer and Stanton were playing tough up the middle, and Julson shut everything down.
Benson and Abts were the shut down corners, Baures and Hentges were always around.
Heading north to Eleva-Strum would be a real test, as the undefeated Cardinals would we face.
If we could play out of our heads tonight, we would be back in the conference race.
Our backfield again was a running back short, and our line was in similar shape.
The problem of depth would now rise to the top, other injuries we’ ll just have to tape.
The game started out pretty close, until the opening kick-off did fly.
A long pass completion to Benson was ruled out of bounds, by a striped guy.
After our first punt into the swirling wind, the Cardinals would handle it right..
One big play and 56 yards later they scored. This was going to be a long night.
A 46-6 drubbing by the Cardinals, would about seal for them the Dairyland crown.
Miemietz, again played well for the Pirates, Thomas returned a kick for a touchdown.
The Mustangs of Melrose-Mindoro trotted into town, hoping their 5 and 1 record would grow.
The 3 and 3 Pirates played a furious defense, but in the end we had little to show.
With nearly all of our “horses” back at the start, we knew we could defeat this team.
We drove to the goal line three straight times, but mistakes left scoring but a dream.
Just before half a poor call by a zebra, gave another score to the Mustang crew.
Our team devastated, our center Ratz was lost, and Miemietz had a broken nose too!
As the game played on, more injuries came about, as Pfeffer’s hand was crushed.
Our offense was really limited as well, as back-up QB, Palkowski tried to out-hobble the rush.
We did get more shots to win, after a punt block by Hentges and crew.
But on the 3 inch line again we were stopped, our offense just didn’t come through.
After three and a half quarters, it was still 14 to 8. We had every chance in the book.
But after five (5) straight C-FC turnovers, at the scoreboard it was hard to look. (29-8)
With our first three quarterbacks unable to play, we were certainly in dire straights.
A tryout for the position was held. Is there anyone who can lead us through the gates?
We’ll only be able to use a limited number of plays, to make the play-offs we have to win.
Whitehall hasn’t won many games this season. Seth Hentges, would you like to step in?
If we could stay healthy and not lose any more guys, play-offs could still be our goal.
But players WERE lost, our back-ups weren’t ready, the 18 to 2 half-time lead we would blow.
After the half, the Norsemen reorganized, we had a weakened line and lost our running back.
They noticed our inexperience at the QB position, and they blitzed us from the point of attack.
A hard fought loss but we never gave up, our M.A.S.H. unit fought right to the end. (30-26)
A fumbled kick-off return that a lineman couldn’t avoid, and our play-off hopes did we spend.
At the final game of the season (and for our seniors), the Wildcats had come to fight.
The players were as hungry as they had been all year. This would be the Pirates night.
The Wildcat offense was pretty basic. It revolved around one player on their team.
If we could stop him from getting the ball, surely our faces would gleam.
We got our wishbone offense rolling early, and we didn’t let up 'til the end.
The offensive line was creating big holes. The backfield was no longer “on the mend”.
As the season progressed, Kramer made big catches, and Pardun learned to love the game.
Hornberg would play where-ever he was needed, and Ziegler got his final shot at football fame.
As the game had ended victorious, and the coaches and players comments passed.
The kids, for old times sake, needed to get more from the football field grass.
A quick game of “Three’s a Crowd”, with all of the energy they hadn’t spent.
Would allow the kids a little more time, to reflect on what the season meant.
The play called “bozz” was reincarnated as Pfeffer, Stanton, and Serjogins ran the ball.
Sophomores and even some freshman got some action, whenever they got the call.
Well, this season was not about winning it all, but we learned in our season to adjust.
Just like when adversity strikes us in life, we all have to do what we must.
Who ever thought that a player who started football as a QB, would get to finish it that way.
A tight end would be moved to guard, then fullback, and play where we needed him to play.
I guess this team really turned out to be all right, though we all thought we could higher the bar.
Leadership came through and sacrifices were made. These young men in life will go far.
Thank you all for supporting these kids, through some winning and some losing and some strife.
But lessons learned out on the field of battle are forever, because we know .....“Football is Life”!
Thanks to the parents who support the team and their kids.
Thanks to the Parents for the wonderful foods we received after each game.
Thanks to Joe Green , Scott Mlnczak, and Curt Czaplewski for doing the stats.
Thanks to the Coaches, Randy Knecht, Jake Jackson, Chris Hund, and Tom Gotzinger.
Thanks to our long-time water boy: Jesse Bollinger
Thanks to our manager, Daryl Crowson.
Thanks to Daryl for taping our games for the umpteenth year.
Thanks to the injured reserve players, Nick Auer and company for the special taping.
Thanks to Jake Abts for putting together a season highlight dvd.
And thanks to the kids and their families for supporting me and the rest of the coaching staff.
A big Thanks to our former football players and football captains, who are in Kuwait and Iraq awaiting their orders. May they come back safely to be part of this gathering and part of our C-FC family.
Kyle Bushman, Scott Andre, Arturo Veloz, Matt Platteter, Danny Wenger,
Matt Beckendorf, Danny Watson, Sam Crowson,
And any others I may have omitted.