By Chris Parker
Marshfield will look to climb back above .500 this year, as the Blue Jays enter a new conference with the Big 8. They finished 10-13-1 last season.
“We are excited to compete against some teams that we have not consistently had on our schedule from year to year,” Searson said. “We have played Monett and Catholic for years and know how strong their programs are so we will continue to try and improve and be prepared to compete against every team in our conference.”
Senior leading scorer Jarrett Meyer returns to lead the Blue Jays after scoring 20 goals to go with six assists last year. No other Marshfield player scored more than eight goals. He earned first-team all-conference honors in the midfield for his efforts.
“Jarrett was moved around a little last year depending on our opponent. We had some holes to fill in our lineup and we used his versatility to help us out as we brought other players along,” Marshfield head coach Thomas Searson said. “Jarrett was our leading scorer last year and he will still be a key part to our offense this season.”
Junior Danny Parrish played center-midfielder all last season and will return this year. Cody Caufield and Malakai Trowbridge will also see time in the midfield.
Fellow all-conference selection Dakota Woehr returns to lead the defense in his senior season.
“He really brought some good experience to our back line and helped make it a more solid unit as the year progressed,” Searson said. “Up until last season, he was mostly playing in the midfield. He is good with balls in the air and plays with poise.”
Will Snider and Cole Hartman will also be on the backline with Woehr.
Senior Noah Haberer returns to goalkeeper this year. Drew Barb and Came Lee will work with Meyer to key the offense up top at forward.
Juniors Coltan Arentz and Michael Pennington saw some varsity action last year as sophomores and will look pick up more minutes this season.
Searson will move players around this year in search of finding the most effective lineups.
“We’ve been working on finding the right combination of players. We have some good skill returning and some players that know what it takes to compete. It is just a matter of getting the new faces up to speed as quickly as we can,” Searson said. “We have some younger players who are eager to get their chance to move into the starting lineup and that will be an important part of what we do this season as we are going to graduate a very large group of seniors this year.”
That senior group has been building towards this year since many of them got varsity experience from Day 1.
“We have had a core group of guys that have been varsity contributors since their freshmen year. This will be their final season with us. I am excited to see how they end their high school careers and hope they have a very successful season,” Searson said. “With having so many of the same guys together for so long, that comes with its own set of challenges as we bring other players along in order to prepare them to fill the voids that those long-term players will leave. I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen from our incoming freshmen and even a few junior high players that have participated in our summer sessions. I hope to send this senior group off with great memories and some quality wins in their final season and have a new group of kids ready to make their mark the following year.”
Marshfield opens its season on Aug. 28 at Camdenton.