Marian cancels remainder of season
Marian’s Jared Wimmer (20) tries to get past Jayden Eubanks of Minersville. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
Just four seasons removed from a District 11 championship, Marian High School announced on Thursday that its football program will not be able to finish the 2019 season.
Renown for decades as one of the top small school programs in the district – if not the entire state – Marian will forfeit its two remaining regular season games against Mahanoy Area and Tamaqua, as well as a potential District 11 playoff game.
In an interview on Thursday night, Marian Athletic Director Stan Dakosty, who coached the Colts for over 40 years before stepping down in 2016, explained that the health and safety of the of the players had to come before the pride of the program.
“It’s sad, yes, but it’s something that had to be done,” said Dakosty. “We entered the week with just 17 healthy players and we lost another key starter this week.
“I talked to our coaches today and we all felt that to be able to play we would have to put some young kids in positions and situations that they weren’t ready for physically.”
Dakosty said there was no alternative.
“The health and safety of our kids comes first, and we felt we would be unfairly jeopardizing some of these kids by playing our remaining games.”
Marian (1-7), coming off its only win of the season last Friday against Shenandoah, started the season with less than 30 players on the roster. The Colts have had eight players suffer season-ending injuries and have had several others who left the team.
“I have never experienced anything like this in all my years in football,” said Marian coach Pat Morgans when talking about the roster situation last week.
“We are at a point where we don’t have backups at a lot of positions. So we have literally been going week-to-week since about the middle of the season.
“Through all of this, however, the kids we have playing have been unbelievable. I can’t say enough great things about them. Switching to new positions just days before a game because someone else got injured … showing up and staying positive despite not even having enough kids to practice with ... they’ve made the most of an extremely difficult situation.”
Dakosty, who won 310 games in his coaching career, including a PIAA State Championship in 1990 – the only football state title ever won by a Times News area team – said he’s not looking at this as the end of the Marian football program.
“Our hope and our plan is to return to the field next year and have a program that is bigger and stronger. We are going to do everything in our power to accomplish that.”
The Colts were winning championships as recently as 2015 when they captured a District 11 Class 1A title and advanced to the PIAA state playoffs. They also lost in the district title game in 2016.