When it comes to the budding rivalry between Marysville Pilchuck and Marysville Getchell, David Rose has seen it all before.
He’s been on every side of it as well.
Growing up Rose attended the original Marysville High School, which was located downtown where Totem Middle School is currently. At that time Marysville’s big rival was crosstown Pilchuck H.S., which was built in the early 1970s and gave Marysville two high schools for the first time.
In 1976, the two high schools combined to make Marysville-Pilchuck High School, where 27 years later Rose found himself drawn back to as assistant principal. Two years ago, Marysville Getchell opened its doors and Rose moved over to the new high school to become the principal of School for the Entrepreneur (MG is made up of four learning communities).
So in all, Rose attended Marysville as a high schooler, was an administrator at the school that now sits on the old Pilchuck campus and is currently a Charger, the same mascot as his old rival school, Pilchuck.
“I’ve really done it all,” said Rose. “I’ve really gone into my rival and first of all accepted their site and now their name.
“Now I’m OK with wearing green and gold.”
Tonight Rose will be wearing the green and gold of the Chargers and rooting against Marysville Pilchuck as the two football teams play their first-ever game against each other.
It’s a rivalry that hasn’t had time to turn acrimonious. Marysville Pilchuck coach Brandon Carson said that his players know they’re playing a rival tonight but that they’re really isn’t any bad blood.
“This isn’t a rivalry that has been going on for years like the Stilly Cup,” Carson said. “These kids have grown up with each other. They went to elementary school together. They know each other and they know who they’re playing.”
Marysville School District athletic director Greg Erickson said the plan is for it to stay that way.
“We just want to make sure that things don’t get out of hand or we don’t allow some negative things to happen,” Erickson said. “We want to make sure that a couple of people don’t ruin it for everybody else.”
Marysville Pilchuck wide receiver Kyle Nobach said the players are more friendly and are “just excited to play against each other.”
Help decide on a name for the Marysville Getchell-Marysville Pilchuck rivalry
As for on the field Marysville Getchell has shown that they belong on the same field as their rivals. After going winless in its inaugural season and losing its first two games of this year’s campaign, the Chargers have won their past two games, including a statement victory over Stanwood last week.
“I think the biggest thing is we kind of got that monkey off our back now that we’ve got it,” said Marysville Getchell head coach Davis Lura of the victories. “The kids are a little more loose, a little more confident.”
Marysville Pilchuck, which was one of the favorites in the newly formed Wesco North 3A before the season started, has rebounded after a loss to Lake Stevens in Week 2 with two straight dominating victories over Snohomish and Shorewood. In the two wins, MP running back Austin Joyner has totaled 319 yards rushing and six touchdowns.
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“The thing is when he gets in the open field he’s pretty deadly,” Carson said of Joyner. “He’s really a complete player: he catches the ball, he blocks well.”
“We have to stop Austin Joyner,” said Lura.
One of the unique aspects of this rivalry is the fact that the two Marysville high schools have open enrollment, which means, unlike many multiple high school districts that decide enrollment along boundary lines, students select their top three choices and get placed in a school according to differing factors based on those selections.
Because it is open enrollment the issue of recruiting is something that has been discussed.
“I refuse to recruit,” Carson said. “I’m not going to beg some eighth grader to come play here. We just take who comes here and that’s our attitude overall.”
Lura agreed. “The kids just decide where they want to go. I don’t do anything special and I don’t think Brandon does anything special. Recruiting is an ugly word, but I think the programs and the schools just sell themselves.”
Rose said he hopes the new Marysville rivalry is a lot like the old one: “It was intense but friendly,” Rose said of the old Marysville and Pilchuck high schools rivalry. “I had a lot of friends that went to Pilchuck and I competed against them. We enjoyed playing them and I think they enjoyed playing us.
“I hope and pray that (the MG/MP rivalry) doesn’t become a vandalism, tit-for-tat kind of thing because we don’t need to go there.”