COOS BAY — It’s not uncommon for family members or girlfriends to wear the road jerseys of football players during home games on Friday nights.
At Pete Susick Stadium this week, it was a special group that got that honor.
Each of the 40 players on Marshfield’s playoff roster picked a staff member from their time at Marshfield or any of the other Coos Bay schools they attended growing up, recognizing them as an inspirational person in their education.
They included teachers, administrators and coaches.
Most of the teachers didn’t know about the program until they were contacted by the players this week, said Debbie Brown, who wore the jersey of Traver Matthews.
“I was surprised and felt really honored,” she said. “It made me feel special.
“It made me feel when I come to work, I’m doing a good job once in a while. I think most of the staff feel the same way.”
The various staff members wore the uniforms all day, which Brown said made the day most special.
One of the great things about the program was the interaction between the staff members and the students.
Jesse Ainsworth was chosen by Devin Benson, a player whom he has only had in class. Ainsworth said he enjoyed discussing Benson’s growth as a person and student with him, and sharing his own background from when he was a student at Marshfield.
Ainsworth also said it’s nice for the various staff members to get recognition from the kids.
“It’s fantastic,” he said. “Sometimes as a teacher, you’re not sure you are inspiring anybody.
“It’s cool, whoever came up with it.”
Credit for coming up with the idea, or at least making it happen, goes to Stacy Farm, said Doug Miles, who echoed the thoughts of the others on the value of the recognition.
“It’s one of the coolest things I’ve done as a teacher,” he said. “It was neat to see middle school and elementary people recognized, too.”
The staff members who were recognized were from Marshfield, as well as Millicoma, Sunset, Madison and Blossom Gulch.
“Any time young people can show appreciation, it makes people feel really good,” Miles said.
He added that the players got a lot out of it, too.
“I think they really put some thought into it,” he said.
Miles was recognized by Cory Stover, who plays on his basketball team, and said Stover sent him a nice message, something more than Stover might have expressed in the past.
"I was very proud of him," Miles said.
Brooke Toy had similar thoughts about Sirus Robie, who picked her.
"I am honored to have been chosen by Sirus as his most inspirational teacher," she said. "But what he probably doesn't know is that he has inspired me as well.
"Sirus has such a positive attitude every day, and it's hard not to feel happy when he is around. He's a great kid on and off the field."
Here is a list of all the players, the staff members they chose and what school they work at.
Players and the staff member they chose include:
Josiah Niblett, Jennifer Easton (Blossom Gulch)
Tandy Martin, Heidi Ositis (Marshfield)
Grant Woolsey, Scott Banks (Millicoma)
Keanon Walton, Diana Spillman (Millicoma)
Jacob Carpenter, Jennifer Bunnell (Marshfield)
Noah Niblett, Erin Atkins (Sunset)
Chase Howerton, Steve Puckett (Millicoma)
Liam Webster, Chelsey Seedborg (Marshfield)
Robert Fisher, Anthony Johnson (Marshfield)
Tyler Thonrton, Doug Fendall (Marshfield)
Dom Montiel, Karla Delgado (Blossom Gulch)
Tev’n Woods, Alexa Clausen (Marshfield)
Marcos Rosales, Stephani Howe (Marshfield)
Carson Shields, Michelle Newsum (Madison)
Kaleb Hughes, Drew Jones (Marshfield)
Arturo Ledesma, Brad McKechnie (Marshfield)
Keanu Gutierrez, MJ Golder (Marshfield)
Hayden Murphy, Tim Connick (Blossom Gulch)
Joey Ward, Crystal Davis (Marshfield)
Hobie Ainsworth, Joanna Cobb (Marshfield)
Devin Benson, Jesse Ainsworth (Marshfield)
Kaden Weaterston, Chelsea Burns (Marshfield)
Sirus Robie, Brooke Toy (Marshfield)
Dauminic Hansen, Liza Holland (Millicoma)
Tristin Lemmons, Teresa Thurman (Millicoma)
Gannon Holland, Jackie Souza (Blossom Gulch)
Brian Ebenal, Chad Scriven (Marshfield)
Tanner Koster, Sonja McMackin (Millicoma)
Eric Szenasi, Glen Crook (Marshfield)
Shaun Skinner, Carli Ainsworth (Blossom Gulch)
Greg Stump, Stacy Farm (Marshfield)
Aiden Adams, Todd Tardie (Marshfield)
Brayden Davis, Mark Lorincz (Marshfield)
Jonathan Mullins, Lynda Sanders (Marshfield)
Alvaro Guillen, Garrett King (Marshfield)
CJ McCarthy, Andrew Giniger (Marshfield)
Miles Calhoun, Eli Ashton (Marshfield)
Matthew Allen, Cameron Jerde (Marshfield)
Christian Roman, Kevin Guthrie (Marshfield)
Cory Stover, Doug Miles (Marshfield)
Aaron Hutchins, Laura Post (Sunset)
Traver Matthews, Debbie Brown (Marshfield)