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Lobbestael leads the way
I’ve been a WSU Cougar for over 40 years following our team through thick and thin and always supporting their efforts. Needless to say, I was very pleased when Marshall Lobbestael announced that he was going to WSU after taking Oak Harbor High School to the state championship in football.
As it happens, college football can be difficult, and Marshall experienced frustrations with injuries and a new offensive strategy under Paul Wulff. Then, along comes Jeff Tuel who took over the starting position, and Marshall was relegated to supporting Tuel’s growth from the second position.
Finally, this fall Marshall “got his chance,” as Tuel was injured in the opening game. He stepped up and has set records in stellar performances in the first four games of this season. Great job, Marshall, but that is not why I wrote this letter.
I know many people on and off the field in WSU athletics, and the inspiration for this letter was driven by the comments I consistently receive regarding Marshall as a young man and a leader. From his second quarterback position, he continued unselfishly working, learning, leading, and teaching others on the team. He always has a positive attitude and seeks team, not individual success. He is one of the first on the field to practice and one of the last to leave. At athletic “meet and greet” events where athletes “rub shoulders” with fans and boosters, again, Marshall leads the way with a smile and warm reception making everyone feel like they are his “best friend.”
One friend commented on Marshall’s ability to organize teams of student workers to complete a menial but time-consuming task. Worker’s were aimless and got little done until Marshall stepped in, organized team leaders, identified tasks, and got the job completed in short order.
When we see how athletics, talent, and notoriety sometimes undermine personal ethics causing athletes to act against their own self-interests, it’s very refreshing to see a young man select a path of responsibility and maturity. When he could have complained about not getting enough playing time and could have spent his time on the sidelines frustrated and angry, he instead responded with honor, integrity, and personal pride.
Whether or not Marshall achieves his goals in football, his dedication and maturity have not gone unnoticed. He has brought an immeasurable pride to his family, to his high school, to his town, and to WSU.
Congratulations, Marshall, for being a fine young man, and for being an exemplary Cougar.