2008 Pirate Football:  Bare Bones Tour!

            Bare Bones ‘08:  Fast Starts, Big Hearts!
                                                                        Steve Lyga
It’s a brand new football season.
            We feel our players have finally matured.
Are we ready to challenge for the title? 
            Do the 2008 Pirates have a chance to be heard?
We’ve got plenty of experience returning. 
            Our backfield talent seems to be fairly deep.
Our offense will be a work in progress. 
            Last year’s defensive concepts we’ll keep.  
As for seniors, we have quite a few. 
            Eleven will be asked to tow the line.
The juniors have very few participating (4). 
            Our sophomores will need to shine.
A weightlifting program was offered during the summer. 
      A chance to improve as individuals and maybe learn to lead . 
Only six players chose to drink from this cup.
      They worked on their strength, agilities, and speed.
Troy Maier was the only senior at these workouts. 
            He was All Region on defense last year.
The other participants were mostly freshmen.
            A chance to improve strength…, and to look good in a mirror.
A major question that surrounded us was leadership! 
            Will someone on the team rise up to the task?
Would there be someone who would choose to step forward?
            Will someone “lead” and not have to ask?
Most of the players made every practice in August. 
            They seemed prepared for the season to come.
A new spread offense was added to our arsenal. 
            We worked at running the option out of the “gun“.
We started our journey at Onalaska Luther. 
            It was at the scrimmage we joined last season.
We played solidly, but had room for improvement. 
            Lack of team size and strength may be reason.
During the scrimmage, we had some nice surprises. 
            Our talented seniors wouldn’t have to do it all.
A couple of our juniors showed promise. 
            The sophomores played well when they were called.
The Pirate defense played pretty solid,
            as we moved players to different positions and sides.
The offense seemed to move the ball fairly well. 
            But positions weren’t quite solidified.
We scrambled a bit too much on our passing plays.
            We didn’t pitch the option when we had the chance.
We did adjust to the ball well, when we aired it out.
            We gave trick plays and reverses a glance.
Changes were made and we jumped into the season. 
            The Lakers from Pepin would be our first test.
A defensive battle kept C-FC in control. 
            We escaped with a win and continued our quest.
Pepin actually had a lot of starters returning
            The Lakers rushed for only 26 yards.
Our spread offense didn’t move the ball very well,
            But a Pirate victory was apparently in the cards.
Brent Gabrick had a solid hit causing a fumble,
            Troy Maier ran with it 22 yards for a score.
Later, Cowboy Troy returned the favor,
            Jacob Greshik recovered and took it back to the four.
After the thirteen to nothing shutout.
            The Pirates guided their ship north to territory unknown.
The New Auburn Trojans stood next in our way.
            A huge team with 10 seniors attempting to stop the “bare-bone“.
The game turned into somewhat of a blowout. 
            The Trojans just couldn’t match the Pirate’s speed.
The breaks went in the Pirate’s direction.
            We cruised to a 28 point first quarter lead.
Rookie, Kevin Weis was running well. 
            Jesse Scheel showed off his shiftiness and poise.
A huge punt return touchdown by the Pirates. 
            C-FC’s offense seemed ready to make some noise.
Another solid defensive performance. 
            The jayvees experienced varsity situations for real.
We ended up losing Troy Maier for the season. 
            But a 43 to nothing C-FC victory was sealed.
“Cowboy” was our defensive standout. 
            His field presence will surely be missed.
Other kids will need to rise up through the adversity. 
            Some rookies will need to move up the list.
Hey! We’re 2 and 0.  We’re undefeated. 
            We actually had a feeling we would be in this place.
The rest of the season gets a lot tougher. 
            The Dairyland Conference will be a tight race. 
Eleva-Strum is the defending State Champion. 
            Our best game, we’ll have to play.
Mistakes will have to be kept at a minimum. 
            We hope the Cards will meet their match today!
Our quarterback had sprained his ankle earlier that week. 
            He did his best to fight the pain.
Substitutes were inserted to try to get by. 
            And these Pirates rose to the occasion again.
Oh, SUGAR!  We fumbled the opening kick-off.  
            Our defense will have to play their hearts out.
We held them scoreless for nearly two quarters. 
            This was a really tough “prizefighter” bout.
The Pirate squad played their hearts out,
            Our defense was again in command.
We held the Cardinals without a score inside the five,
            5 straight plays on a huge goal line stand.
But we were behind six to zero at the half. 
            And after 3 quarters, we trailed by two scores.
Coach Pichner got these Pirate gridders fired up. 
            The boys felt they were up to the chore.
A gallant effort by the unranked Pirates,
            brought this contest to within one score.
A final march toward the Cardinals’ end zone,
            ended up just a little bit short.
We drove 60 yards to the Cardinal’s eighteen yard line,
            as the game clock was winding itself down.
The Pirates proved they could play with the best.
            But the 14-7 score left us with a frown.
The Whitehall Norsemen sailed their ship into town,
            with a powerful offense and pretty good size.
Our Pirates held them at bay the first half.  
            Would the second half be our demise?
C-FC owned a fourteen to nothing halftime lead. 
            But our Pirates showed up to the field a bit late.
A fifteen yard penalty for huddling “off the field”,
            and it almost determined our fate.
The Norse started the second half with a short scoring drive. 
            But this years Pirates didn’t give up.
With some very big plays by our defensive crew,
            C-FC finally came out on top. (14-12)
We were now three and one and feeling quite confident,
            as the Hornets from Lincoln flew in.
They were winless as a team, but were fighting to survive. 
            To lose this one would be a cardinal sin.
The game proved to be a defensive battle. 
            A few Pirate scores were somehow called back.
A couple of dropped passes in the end zone,
            seemed to hamper our Pirate scoring attack.
Three signal callers were used in this game. 
            Each one had their cons and their pros.
But the Pirate offense kept control of the pigskin. 
            Despite having some highs and some lows.
Our offense seemed to be a little more improved. 
            We executed well, but failed to shut the door.
In the end, by a final score of thirteen to zero.
            The C-FC Pirates were victorious once more.
We were now 4-1 as we sailed up the river,
            to face our neighbors, our rivals, our friends.
The Rivermen were now on the docket. 
            A team down in numbers, but courageous to the end.
A hard-hitting battle like we endure every year. 
            A Riverman’s heart should never be ignored.
The Pirate defense, once again rose to the top. 
            Interceptions were collected and stored.
Kyle Platteter was flying around like a demon,
            stealing interceptions, returning one for a score.
The Scheel brothers and Gabrick were having their way. 
            A victory was earned that evening; 6 to 34!
We were now five and one and preparing for another test. 
            A battle with Blair-Taylor awaits.
A solid win would put us on top of the conference,
            with just two remaining dates.
A contest between two of the best defenses,
            that our conference could ever sport.
This game would come down to who made more mistakes. 
            Could C-FC protect their own port?
The eventual outcome of the game was actually affected,
            by an illness recognized at noon.
A C-FC lineman became ill and was sent home. 
            Some scrambling to fill positions after school ensued.
The offensive and defensive lines were affected. 
            As were all of our special teams.
It’s tough to get by without a multi-year starter. 
            But these kids really “stepped up”  it seems.
The Pirates struck first as they took their first drive,
            into the Wildcat’s end zone for the score.
Mistakes plagued the Pirates on the next two punts.
            Blocking and snapping proved a demanding chore.
A fake punt was never a call against the Wildcats,
            even though it appeared that way as a pass fell.
Nor was there a fake called against the Rivermen.
            But that mental mistake turned out pretty well.
At the half, it was still a battle as advertised. 
            The score stood tied at seven apiece.
A fumble that should have been blown dead,
            “He was down!”, cost us 15 yards, … at least.
The Wildcats took over inside the Pirate 35. 
            We fought incredibly hard , but eventually fell.
A fourteen to seven defeat sent us reeling.
            Our goals and emotions were hurt , as everyone here could tell.
A feeling of urgency came calling. 
            Following this next game, we’ll be a few players short.
Our next opponent is Independence-Gilmanton. 
            We’ll have to reload to invade their port.
A starting outside linebacker was out. 
            He sprained an ankle on Monday night.
Our defensive squad would once again be a bit short. 
            Such is a smaller school’s plight.
The game plan seemed to be working early.
            But mistakes were costing us plays.
A couple of early penalties and three lost fumbles,
            put us behind the eight ball that day.
At the half, we were behind nineteen to seven. 
            Our pass defense was coming up short.
It was really the first time all season,
            that the Pirate defense didn’t hold down the fort.
The Pirates came out after the half and moved the ball,
            to a tune of nearly two hundred, 2nd half yards.
Another Pirate score and two point conversion.
            A defensive safety put the Indees on guard.
The final drive of the game was pretty inspiring. 
            To the Indee eleven yard line we cruised.
A holding call, followed by a fumbled snap,
            left us feeling dismayed and confused.
We lined up for the go-ahead field goal. 
            We were behind 19 to 17.
A snap that fell short of its target position,
            left us scrambling and feeling quite green.
We fell two points short of a victory. 
            A Pirate win just wasn’t in the cards.                                               
We were no longer in the hunt for the championship.
            Our preseason goal came crashing down hard.
The Mustangs of Melrose-Mindoro came trotting into town,
            in a game that meant play-offs to the winner.
But the Pirates were going to be a bit short of starters. 
            FFA Nationals proved to be the “sinner”.
We were forced to play without 4 defensive standouts.
            Most were competing down south.
Troy was out for the season with an injury. 
            Brent, Jesse, and Justin just couldn’t get themselves out.
We were playing without our top linebacker. 
            Our top defensive lineman was already gone.
  Our strongest defensive end was in Indiana. 
            And our top Defensive back was also along.
The offensive side of the ball was also depleted. 
            Bubba Engler was an alternate with the FFA.
Jesse and Brent couldn’t carry the ball. 
            Justin wasn’t here to punt the ball away.
Such are the perils of being from a small school,
            where C-FC kids succeed in other parts of life.
We really would have preferred the entire team be here. 
            Their absence cuts our team like a knife.
The remaining kids played with absolute inspiration.
            We hung with the Mustangs ‘til the end.
We gave a fantastic performance keeping the contest close. 
            We proved to ourselves, we could still contend.
We were in scoring position three times in the first half.
            Each trip we came away without a score.
A couple of errant field goals and a fumble,
            Once again, we had trouble slamming the door.
The first two frames for both teams were scoreless.
            The defense was, once again, feeling up to the task.
The offense had moments of brilliance,
            The team was doing nearly everything we asked.
At the end of regulation, however, we were defeated.
            But there’s not a kid on this team that gave in.
A twenty to seven defeat to finish the year,
            another “Three’s A Crowd” to end our season again.
As you can see, the perils of being a school that’s small.
            It may have cost us each of the four games.
We had at least one key player missing in each loss.
            Our team didn’t quite perform the same.
These kids played hard in each and every contest. 
            There wasn’t a team that blew these Pirates out.
  We displayed our Courage , Fortitude and Character. 
            In that statement, I have no doubts.
The season certainly had it’s ups and downs. 
            Our defense was one of the best we’ve ever had.
 Our offensive line actually got better each game.                                                   
            We have achieved more good than bad.
This past season we earned five wins. 
            A higher number than in seasons past.
A good accomplishment for the departing seniors. 
            It’s too bad their time with us won’t last.
Most of these seniors played football for all four years. 
            Each has accomplished a lot.
So we should all celebrate the accomplishments gained. 
            Let’s forget about what we did not.
Aaron Lapp learned to love the game of football. 
            Mitch Kramer played some defense and learned to block.
Bubba Engler earned his spot as a starting lineman. 
            Defensively, Brent Gabrick gave all that he’s got.
Kyle Platteter was very versatile. 
            He played numerous positions and more.
Jesse Scheel proved he was a standout linebacker. 
            Ben Helwig was a solid lineman to the core.
Jake Greshik emerged as the on the field leader. 
            Joey Kurth finally came out to play.
Troy Maier’s season was shortened,
            but he still has a lot of memories that will forever stay.
John Schmidtknecht put pressure on the other team’s punter. 
            His kick-offs also sailed really deep.
Dusty Grotjahn was with us in spirit,
            and these football memories we’ll always keep. 
The C-FC football future is looking bright.
            Our freshmen and sophomores played well.
These young men put together an undefeated season.
            Eight wins and no losses, one by one, opponents all fell.
The season of 2008 is now behind us. 
            But we’ll remember this season the rest of our days.
These seniors will now seek out other endeavors.
            Let us recognize their accomplishments with praise.
Put your hands together for these young men.
            For their effort, dedication and sacrifice.
They deserve our school’s respect for representing us so well.
             Applause for a tremendous season will surely suffice.