Pioneers Will See New Face On Sidelines

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John L. Braese

MILTON-FREEWATER – A former TigerScot is ready to take over the reins of the McLoughlin football program. Vince Roff was recently approved to lead the Pioneers and already has plans.

Roff, a local recruiter for the armed forces, attended McLoughlin for two years before transferring to Weston-McEwen and graduating a TigerScot. He played football at both schools his four years of high school. After graduating, Roff enlisted in the National Guard and later worked at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary for five years before returning to the Guard full time as a recruiter.

Taking over a football program in a school known for a prestigious soccer program, Roff understands what is ahead.

“It will take some time to turn the program around,” said Roff. “We need time and consistency. MacHi has seen a lot of coaches over the past years and the kids have no buy in for the program. My goal for this year is just to start being competitive.”

For a football program, Roff was hired late in the season. Unable to schedule a camp, Roff has plans for some 7-on-7 summer play and possibly a camp for the just the Pioneers.

“I want to create a family atmosphere and build the trust with the players,” he said.

Roff will have the opportunity to build his own atmosphere as the Pioneers will see only two seniors on the field this season as of now. Extremely young last season, the majority of the MacHi players will be only sophomores this season. One assistant coach carries over from last year’s squad. A possible addition to the coaching staff may come from within the Roff household as the new coach as a child of 1 ½ years of age ready to help out dad.

McLoughlin finished 0-7 last year and were again eligible under OSAA guidelines to request to play down at the 2A 9-man level. As in past years, the Pioneers refused to submit the request and will remain gutting it out in the 3A Special District 6.

As of this writing, the Pioneers open the season on Friday, May with a trip to John Day to take on Grant Union in a non-league game.

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