Football

Marine City football: Down, but not out

Marine city players take the field during a football game Thursday, August 25, 2016 at East China Stadium.

Marine city players take the field during a football game Thursday, August 25, 2016 at East China Stadium.

This is a new feeling for anyone within the Marine City football program.

It’s well known at this point that the Mariners have their backs against the wall with their first 0-4 start since 1971. It’s also no secret Marine City’s 18-year playoff streak is in serious danger of being snapped as one more loss officially eliminates them from contention.

It could also be assumed the Mariners – a program accustomed to winning – are down on themselves or really don’t know what to do at this point. However, that’s simply not the case.

“It’s optimism and positivity,” senior Ryan Alexander said. “You go to practice and people keep their heads up and are working hard. There’s really been no negativity yet.”

Marine City's William Pastalis breaks past several Algonac defenders as he drives the ball down field during a football game Thursday, August 25, 2016 at East China Stadium.

Marine City’s William Pastalis breaks past several Algonac defenders as he drives the ball down field during a football game Thursday, August 25, 2016 at East China Stadium.

As the tough defeats piled up, so have the game films of losses and the “gutless” anonymous letters laced with complaints to head coach Ron Glodich. Even with the adversity, at Wednesday’s practice no one would ever guess this is a team that has gone from dominant to doubted in a short amount of time.

“We definitely use this as motivation to get better,” senior Andrew Steinmetz said. “We look at every loss as motivation to get better and everything we do we stay motivated to get better.”

This is also been a new type of season for Glodich, who has been the head coach for five seasons. Looking at the 0-4 start, he can’t help but to look at what he calls the team’s toughest schedule since 2007 and the piling injuries. As disappointing as the record is, Glodich is still impressed with how his team is walking through it with heads held high.

“I’m proud of them,” Glodich said. “I always wondered what it would be like to be in an 0-4 situation … as long as they’re working hard and getting better from the start to the end, it’s been a joy.”

Marine City coach Ron Glodich watches his players run through a blocking drill Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 at Marine City High School.

Marine City coach Ron Glodich watches his players run through a blocking drill Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 at Marine City High School.

Next up for Marine City is a home game against Madison Heights Madison (3-1) – a team that reminds Glodich of Detroit Loyola with their speed and size. With the pressure cranked up and the “must win” stakes on the line, the Mariners are hoping the black and orange faithful come out in strong numbers.

“Hopefully we get a big crowd, we usually get one because we’ve got a good, big fanbase,” Steinmetz said. “Hopefully it plays a good role for us.”

In other MAC action:

-Port Huron (1-3) will be hitting the road to face Fraser (1-3), who is a battle-tested team as their opponents have a combined 13-3 record. This will be a new game for all players as the two sides last met in 2009 with Port Huron taking a 34-27 win.

-Port Huron Northern (3-1) will look to get one win closer to a playoff berth as they’ll be heavy favorites at home against East Detroit (0-4). The Shamrocks have had a tough few seasons as their last win came in 2014 and only scoring 20 or more points twice since then.

-Marysville (4-0) will look to stay perfect as they travel to Clawson (2-2), who moved up to the MAC Silver after three straight playoff seasons. A Vikings win would clinch six straight seasons with a winning record.

-St. Clair (2-2) has a tough road test as they take on South Lake (3-1). Both teams are looking for bounce back weeks as the Saints fell to Port Huron Northern in a 30-18 loss and the Cavaliers falling to Warren Fitzgerald for their first loss of the year.

Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or msheehan@gannett.com. 

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