Coach Steve Marbach led his Beaver team on the proud and grinding charge to the state finals in just his second year as head varsity football coach. In his first season with the Beavers last year, Marbach coached the Beavers to the state semi-finals.
Marbach takes serious his role in developing tough football players that can compete at the championship level, just as much as he takes serious his role in developing young men of character and honor off the gridiron field.
The Karnes Countywide caught up with Coach Marbach to get his thoughts and reflections on the remarkable 2013 season, as well as aspects of his coaching philosophy.
Falls City had a 14-0 undefeated season going into the 2013 state finals, dominating a number of opposing teams by huge point margins. What were the keys to the amazing success of Beaver football this school year?
“The keys to our success were:
1. Attitude. This team expected to win every game and worked hard every day to earn the right to feel that way. They were also in it for each other. When things get touch, it’s easy to quit on yourself, but impossible to quit on your brothers who love you. These guys played the way they played for each other and for their Beaver Nation Community.
2. Talented players. We had a deep, talented team, full of guys who were not only skilled and athletic, but also who accepted their roles within the team and who did their jobs.
3. Coaching. Our coaching staff does a great job of teaching our guys not only techniques, schemes, and plays, but also much more important things like discipline, work-ethic, sacrifice, selflessness, and sportsmanship.
4. Incredible Support Network: Our FCISD Teachers, Administrators, and Staff do a great job of working with our kids. The Beaver Nation shows up in force every time we step on to a football field, anywhere, anytime. And most importantly, our Falls City parents do a great job of raising their kids and that gives all of us at the school a great chance to be successful in everything we do.
5. Tradition. The success that the Beaver Football Team has had over the years makes it easier - a responsibility really - for each new class of seniors and each new team to live up to. ‘Tradition never graduates.’”
What was the most memorable moment of the 2013 football season for you?
“We had lots of incredible ‘how did he do that?’ type of moments when guys would make unbelievable plays or crushing hits, but my favorite moment was probably seeing the joy on our guy’s faces as time expired in the Tenaha game. That was an epic game, with huge momentum swings, and our guys spent everything they had to find a way to win it. Seeing them running around and hugging each other after that one was the best.”
What do you consider were the greatest strengths of the 2013 Beaver football team?
“Team-before-self-mentality, attitude, tenacity, leadership, physicality, athleticism, skill, and speed.”
The only loss of the entire season came in the state championship game. What positive lessons can be learned from that lone loss to make Beaver football even better in the future?
“That whole week-long experience of the state championship was crazy. I really don’t think that I would go back and change much - our plan was good and our guys left all they had on the field. Wellington just beat us, and that’s something I always tell the guys that I can live with. If we would have quit playing hard or backed down from the challenge, I would feel differently, but I’m proud of our team for what they did in all fifteen of their games. It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded. Losing that game was disappointing for sure, but winning or losing that game doesn’t have any affect on the amount of love I have for my team or that they have for each other. It wasn’t meant to be in the last one, but it was still a truly amazing season.”
As a small Texas town, what do you admire most about the football culture and tradition of Falls City?
“Falls City is the perfect microcosm of what Texas small-town football should be. The whole town shuts down for the games. The fans get crazy for their team. The boys play their hearts out for their community. And at the end of 48 minutes of knocking the fire out of each other, two teams of high school boys will shake hands and usually even pray together after the game.”
Beaver football fans have a reputation abroad for their energy and enthusiasm. What do you like most about the Beaver football fans?
“The Beaver Nation is crazy about their Beaver Football, but they are also smart fans and good people. They appreciate sportsmanship. They love their kids. They will travel anywhere, anytime to watch their Beavers or Beaverettes compete in anything. They are the fans that any team and coaches want behind them in the stands every time.”
What character qualities do you believe make for the ideal high school football player?
“Attitude, toughness, intelligence, physicality, technique, speed, strength, and size.”
What character qualities do you believe make for the ideal football coach?
“I believe that there is no set of personality traits that makes up the ideal football coach. Just like in any profession, you want an honest, hard-working man. Beyond that, each coach just needs to be true to himself and find a place where he fits in. Our staff is strong because we have a lot of dedicated, ethical, hard-working guys who are very different from each other, as much as we are similar. Each one brings very different ideas, experiences, and personalities to our coaching team, and those differences make us stronger as a staff.
What is your overall coaching philosophy on what it takes to be a champion in sports?
“You find success in sports just like in anything else. You first have to set your goals. Then you make a plan of action to try to reach those goals, and execute the plan. It takes constant self-evaluation and re-setting of short-term goals. Work hard and with integrity towards achieving your goals and have enthusiasm and passion about what you are doing. Give your worries to God, and understand that any things you accomplish are because of God. If you do those things, success will find you.”
You will one day retire. What do you want your legacy to be?
“If your focus as a coach is on winning and losing games, you are going to be a bitter, dissatisfied person. For that kind of coach, even a 14-1 season isn’t good enough. The one loss will haunt him forever.
“For me, it’s all about teaching your athletes life-lessons that will make them better husbands, fathers, employees, bosses, etc. You just want to be a part of making them the great young men that they become. Then, when they come back and see you years later and say, ‘thanks coach,’ that’s the ultimate reward right there.”