MARYSVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — In 2020 the Marysville Monarchs captured the program’s first outright conference title in 20 years. They also won the program’s first playoff game in 20 years.
This year, they are looking for a first-ever milestone: a state title. With so many important pieces returning, the expectations have already started to build.
“I definitely feel like there’s a lot on our shoulders this year to repeat and go further than what we did last year,” said Marysville senior Erryl Will.
“It’s very exciting and very humbling too to know that we are now one of the teams in our conference that has the target on our back,” added another Monarchs’ senior Gavin Rohrs.
“We’ve got a great opportunity because we’ve got a strong senior class,” explained Marysville head coach Brent Johnson.
Not just a strong senior class, but maybe the strongest player in Ohio in that class: future Buckeye Gabe Powers – one of the highest rated players central Ohio has produced in years.
Much like this Marysville team is getting used to its new-found expectations, Gabe is adjusting to his new-found celebrity as a future Buckeye.
“It’s a lot different like you said people knowing you when you walk around and asking for pictures and stuff like that,” Gabe said with a smile. “It’s really cool. It’s a blessing.”
“Going all the way back to 7th and 8th grade, you know he was always putting in extra work, working with other trainers,” Rohr, a future Miami-Ohio Hawkeye said. “He busts his butt every single day.”
That hasn’t changed after his early commitment to Ohio State. In fact, Gabe now has new pressures to live up to as a future Buckeye – just like the Monarchs have as a team this year.
And an added week to the expanded 2021 season brings new challenges as well.
“We’ve lost really a week of practice. We’re throwing a lot at them right now,” Johnson said. “We have a bunch of blue-collar guys who like to work and I think enjoy that process.”
“We are set on titles, a state title,” Gabe said about the Monarchs’ expectations for themselves this year. “We’ve made it to the playoffs, we’ve made it farther each year, but this year we have a real good team.”
“It’s just surreal now to think that we’re at the top of our conference and we just gotta defend it now,” Rohrs added. “We just can’t stay satisfied and we can’t get too comfortable.”