Rob Oxford: Back in Blue

Friday, September 3, 2021

Rob Petschl coaching the 2020 SC Defense. Photo by Rob Oxford

By Rob Oxford

Several years ago, at the suggestion of a good friend and contributor to this publication, I submitted a sports editorial I had written strictly for my personal Facebook page.

To my great surprise and utter delight, it was published and I soon found myself contributing more articles as well as covering high school football for Shorecrest. This became quite easy as both my sons were playing, I love football and already had the intention of attending every game.

Flash forward 7 years.

My last sports article for the Shoreline Area News was in March. A recap of the Shorecrest Scots' win over Sultan and a brief mention of the upcoming Rotary Cup. Which as it turns out, was an extremely lopsided victory for Shorecrest over their perennial rival the Shorewood Thunderbi…ooops! Is it still “Thunderbirds”?

It didn’t seem like a Rotary Cup, or for that matter the final game of my son’s high school career and it certainly didn’t warrant rubbing the reader's nose in a 50 – 6 Shorewood loss, so the season just sort of…ended.

As a Shorecrest football fan and Dad the season was over and so were I thought, my days of regularly watching and reporting on high school football.

As it turns out my youngest son has signed on to be an assistant to new Shorewood Head Coach Rob Petschl. Rob coached the defense last year at Shorecrest and for three years prior. We became fairly close during that time and I am confident his is the type of leadership needed to turn around the Thunderbird program.

Fortunately, he’s no stranger to T-Bird territory having been head coach once before from 2010 – 2014. During that period, he racked up a less-than-stellar record of 12 wins and 38 losses. A record he has no problem recalling and one he is determined to improve upon mightily.

Coach Petschl with son Reid. Photo by Rob Oxford
This is a special opportunity for Coach Petschl. 

His son Reid is a sophomore football and baseball player, while Reid’s twin sister Paige is also an accomplished athlete. 

His youngest son Cole will be a Thunderbird next year and the opportunity to not only watch them grow and compete, but assist in their development as athletes is a coaching Dad’s dream.

Because of the lack of success over the past several years, Shorewood Football Fans have very low expectations. 

This may be good for an incoming coach concerned about wins and losses, but if your focus is “creating a positive football experience through academics and leadership” there is much more at stake.

Coach Petschl hopes to expand on the “Team” concept by developing an even stronger relationship between his players and their community. 

Part of which includes recruiting more parent involvement by way of the Thunder Football Facebook page. Thunder Football | Facebook

Next to Head Coach Petschl on the sidelines this year will be:

  • Alex Barashkoff (Offensive Coordinator/Offensive and Defensive Line). 
  • George Monica (Running and Defensive Backs). 
  • Wyatt Tonkin, a legendary name not unfamiliar to Shoreline residents regardless of your high school loyalty will be coaching the Offensive Line. 
  • First year coach Robbie Oxford (Wide Receivers/Linebackers), 
  • former Shorewood Graduate Tres Zeigler (Wide Receivers/Linebackers/Special Teams). 
  • Jay McArthur will handle Varsity Quarterbacks while heading up the C Team and 
  • Jeff D’Amelio (Offensive Line/Defensive Line).

Given they’ve been friends and colleagues for many years and from the stands you can barely tell them apart, Coach Petschl wouldn’t reveal to me whether or not he and Shorecrests Brandon Christensen had a friendly wager concerning this year’s Rotary Cup, but I can assure you as it gets closer his players will be thinking of nothing else.

I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe of blue and white, but don’t go running to Goodwill for my green and gold shorts and shirts. My wife, a 1985 Shorecrest Graduate, has them safely tucked away.

Good luck to all our athletes from both Shorewood and Shorecrest, may this be a year of much success and accomplishment.


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