The year is 2000, and the Stevenson Pirates have just won their first league title, going 9-0 for the season. Kris Bonifas led the team with 1645 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns, and was the Monterey county player of the year. He ended up playing four years at Stanford. If this is a precedent, emulating Bonifas’ running game may make for historic seasons. It looks like if Stevenson’s football program wants success, perhaps it must come through the running game.
That was the Pirates’ last league championship. It has been 21 years since then, and not a single league championship has been put on the banner. This year, it seems there might be a change, despite the team’s early struggles.
Entering the 2022 season, Stevenson decided to host a scrimmage game against Pacific Grove, the Pirates’ long-time rival. Pacific Grove is in the cypress division, a higher division than Stevenson’s. Despite the seemingly obvious disadvantage, the Pirates tied the Breakers 14-14, but looked like the better team the whole game.
A week later, The Pirates started the season with a non-conference loss, at St. Francis. Although the final score wasn’t in the Pirates’ favor, there were a couple bright spots that gave players, coaches, and fans hope.
In the St. Francis game, Audon Forgus scored the Pirates’ only touchdown in a 21-6 loss to the Sharks. Forgus got a long run to get into the Sharks red zone, and then ran in for the touchdown. Forgus had 50 yards to go with that play, while the other back, Kai Kobrak, had 50 yards as well.
Outside of the running game, the Pirates have a solid pass game as well, led by Trent Toole, Thomas Lansbury, and Sean Ishii, who combined for nine catches altogether. They comprise a great core who have tons of potential. On the defensive side of the ball, the Sharks ran the ball an astonishing 38 out of 42 plays. The four pass plays went for 79 yards, and a touchdown, and the 38 run plays went for 110 yards, and one touchdown as well. The third touchdown came from an early pick-six on only the second play of the game.
In their second game, the Pirates traveled down south to King City. The Mustangs beat them 21-7, and the Pirates’ only score was Trent Toole scoring a 65 yard touchdown off a slant route.
The Pirates had a spectacular outing against Marina at home at the end of September, in their first conference game. It was definitely a tough one, because Marina is sixteenth in Monterey county, and Stevenson is twenty-sixth, but the Pirates rallied in the second half to score multiple touchdowns and leave with an important victory.
Following that, they play San Lorenzo Valley, who only scored seven points in their first three games, and let up 105. However, SLV may have terrible heat conditions that Stevenson will probably have to play in — that the Wildcats are probably used to.
Stevenson’s third league game comes against Pajaro Valley, who the Pirates beat twice last year. The Grizzlies are also ranked last in the greater Monterey area.
After that, they will play Greenfield at home for senior night. The Bruins have one win and two losses, which were to St. Francis, 14-10, and Soledad, 17-14. That seems like an interesting game, but hopefully the Pirates will emerge victorious.
In their second to last game of the season, Stevenson faces the run-heavy offense of Gonzales, in an away game. The Spartans are 0-3 to start the year, and have let up an average of 33.6 points per game, while only putting up 24.6 points.