By Denise Tucker (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Graduating seven seniors and losing a high percentage of offense, including the school’s career scoring leader, would hit most teams hard. But, Marshfield head coach Tom Searson is confident in the future of his program.
“We graduated a large part of our offense, so it will be interesting to see who steps up to take on that role,” said Searson, who is 67-97-2 at Marshfield. “We’ve got some players who I think are capable of filling that role and have been looking forward to this opportunity.”
Among the key losses to graduation are Jarrett Meyer, Drew Barb, Ricardo Turibio and Bachi Salas Heras.
• Jarrett Meyer, a forward, scored 66 goals for his career to become Marshfield boys’ record-holder, with 47 of those coming in his junior and senior seasons. He was a Class 3 All-District 10 First-Team and Big 8 Conference Second-Team honoree and is continuing his career at Evangel University.
• Drew Barb, a midfielder, scored 10 goals and was an all-district first-team and all-conference second-team selection in 2018.
“Jarrett and Drew have been varsity contributors since their freshman years,” Searson said. “Their combination of speed and skill were a key part of our style of play over the past few years.”
• Ricardo Turibio is joining Meyer at Evangel, and Salas Heras was an all-district second-team pick for Marshfield, which finished with a 12-11 overall record and 2-4 in the Big 8 Conference.
Searson thinks his team will be stronger defensively this season and hopes to involve more players into the offense.
“There a lot of unknowns right now with such a big graduating class, but I am confident that players will step up into different roles to help us have a successful season,” Searson said.
Key returnees for the Blue Jays include Danny Parrish, Matthew Derecichei, Jessee Owens and Will Snider.
• Danny Parrish is a senior midfielder, who was an all-district second-team and all-conference honorable mention selection. “Danny was the glue of our midfield and brings a wealth of soccer knowledge and skill to our team,” Searson said. “He is a great leader for us and I look for him to have a great senior year.”
• Matthew Derecichei, sophomore goalkeeper. “He split time in goal last season and I look for him to have a big impact for us this season.”
• Jessee Owens, sophomore. “He played a lot of minutes in the midfield for us last season and will probably have to pick up more of the scoring load for us this year with the absence of Jarrett and Drew.”
• Will Snider, a senior defender, was a second-team all-district pick last year. “He will return as a center back for us this year and is probably one of the hardest-working players I’ve ever coached and another good leader for us.”
Rounding out the rest of the varsity squad, Searson has several players who are ready to step into those spots left to graduation, including: Hudson Aikins (junior), Jadon Wipf (senior), Michael Pennington (senior) and Coltan Arentz, a senior who missed last season due to injury.
The Blue Jays also look to have numbers in newcomers working to contribute this season, and in the future, Searson says.
“We have a good group of JV players from last year that have been working hard in the offseason, and I think they will be in a good spot to move into the varsity team over the next couple of years.
“We also have quite a few incoming freshmen who are looking forward to playing at the high school level. I’m excited about the future based on what I’ve seen from these guys this summer.”
Marshfield will participate in a jamboree at Greenwood along with New Covenant and Rogersville on Aug. 27, and then will open the season at home against Crocker on Aug. 30.
“Between graduation and our two exchange students, we have lost a majority of our varsity team, but I am looking forward to this next era for our program,” Searson said. “Many of our graduating seniors played all four years for us and now with them moving on, it is time for the next group of players to make their mark.”