WOODSTOCK - And just like that, an era ended.
It was an era of Marian Central football that had the highest hopes and aspirations. It was an era with an extremely talented quarterback who has every skill, and a senior class that knew a 5A state title was well within its reach.
But abruptly, it came to an end.
What can be termed the “Chris Streveler era,” started when the senior quarterback took the reins of the Hurricanes last season. It ended with Marian’s 42-27 quarterfinal defeat Saturday at the hands of arch-rival Montini.
Streveler, headed to Minnesota, has much more to accomplish in his career. But those thoughts were hardly on his mind after the Hurricanes’ crushing defeat.
“I just hope I can impact a lot of these younger players in a positive way,” Streveler said. “I hope I gave an example to them on how to carry themselves and how to work hard. I know us seniors put it all on the field.”
Streveler accomplished everything he could with the Hurricanes’ program, enriching his future and the future of the team.
But coach Ed Brucker knows that another Chris Streveler is not going to be walking on George Harding Field any time soon.
“He’s not going to be replaceable,” Brucker said. “You’re not going to have another Chris Streveler.
“Those guys only come around every once in a while.”
Without the other seniors, the likes of Tony Milone, Greg Walczak and Liam Kirwin, Marian Central would not have been where they were, fighting for a chance at the semifinals. Those players may not get the same publicity as Streveler but they have placed an indelible mark on a successful Marian Central (11-1) program.
“They have been a special senior group,” Brucker said. “They’ve been fun to work with and fun to go to practice. They work hard. They work hard in the off season and did everything you asked.”
Things will be changing for the program. This talented group with the area’s most talented quarterback will be in a transitional period.
Brucker admitted that the Hurricanes will have to do it more as a team in the future and find some other strengths.
Junior running back Ephraim Lee will be around to help define the new Marian Central.
“Next year I’m going to step up big time,” Lee said. “Coach has already told me that I’m going to have to step up for next year. And I will.”
Marian Central knew they could defeat Montini again. They had to believe it.
There is no doubt that the loss hurt, as evidenced by the tears in their eyes and the embraces on the field after their only loss of the year.
It may not have been at the top of mind at that moment, but those seniors left Marian Central in a better position than when they arrived.