Sonnets That Define a Coach’s Character

Mathew Topolewski FishWrap, FishWrap Archive Leave a Comment

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Last weekend, a couple of friends and I went camping at a remote lake in the Cascade range. After arriving at our site, we noticed a beaten journal that appeared in a spot most strange.

Not hidden in the dense bush, nor buried under mounds of dirt.

Instead, it was sitting right there on the picnic table; as if to give us some sort of alert.

We quickly picked it up and began to read this curious find.

What follows are the entries made not long ago.

During a similar camping trip on which all must have lost their precious mind.

What has become of those involved, we still do not know…

From the journal of Josh Seawelinsky

Believed to be photo of Josh Seawelinsky.

2013; Mathew Topolewski

Believed to be photo of Josh Seawelinsky.


Entry 1

It has been three whole days since embarking 

Out on this dreaded hike on which we now are lost, 

Where finding home has vanished without any markings

And our countenance has suffered at a great cost. 

Four of us there are, sitting here waiting 

For what seems to be our virtual end,

But with the hopes of humans abating

Fears with food and sweet water; our best friend.

For it is the lack thereof which spawns  

An incurable illness. My eyes seem

To suffer the most as they constantly wan

Turning my friends to figures from a TV screen;

 Their actions and behaviors deciding 

For them which form they will be presiding. 


Entry 2

Eric has been unable to keep cool.

For every challenge that is at our door,

Or tough decision that has come to rule,

He’s made protest and acts a cowardly sore.   

We wanted to stay and wait for help to arrive,

He thought it be easier to keep moving.

“Why this trail and not that,” he would contrive.

Yet no matter the answer, Eric kept disapproving.   

He wanted to find the easiest route

 Out of our predicament. That’s when I 

Realized his fear of a challenging suit.

Just then, he transformed into that Jim Mora guy!

In the midst of his constant complaining,

The now Mora died from sever menstruating.


You wonder why players listen to him?

2013; Mathew Topolewski

You wonder why players listen to him?

Entry 3 

Then there was Robby, a man with a nice face

But of the most arrogant, low degree.

The honor of everything around him debased, 

In my eyes he quickly became Lane Kiffin out of USC.   

With this new image firmly in mind,

What happens next should come to no surprise.

While discussing Mora’s burial in ways too kind,

  Kiffin pulled out a knife! Fighting was perhaps unwise.

He demanded we hand over all our water

      Or else serious injury would ensue.

But we gave him what he really wished; slaughter.

Seizing his utensil, we grabbed him; I by his shoe.

We took him to the cliff, Kiffin’s evil

Still stout. Threw him far so there was no retrieval. 


Entry 4

 From 4 there were now gravely only 2;

Myself, and my young, trustworthy friend Jake.

A man who’s outd00r skills make women woo,

 And makes Bear Grylls look like a complete fake. 

To find home through him I didn’t need luck.

I once saw this Oregon native

Catch, kill, and then skin a full-grown, wild buck

With his bare hands in a way most creative. 

His agility, athleticism, and speed

Make onlookers undeniably weary.

Head coach Mark Helfirch outrunning a cheetah at Hayward Field.

2013; Mathew Topolewski

Head coach Mark Helfrich outrunning a cheetah at Hayward Field.

There’s only one man into which he morphed indeed; 

That of Oregon’s Mark Helfrich most obviously. 

He then suggested we take flight to home.

Not the slightest hesitation in me was then shown. 

I followed his every footstep, I 

Followed him everywhere. Part from him  

Is a fate I could never dare nor try. 

I then noticed a difference in my limbs.

No longer were they mine, but of someone

Else’s arms, hands, clothes, makeup and sound.

I called out to Helfirch to see what had been done. 

Looking at me, he innocently reported what he found;

“What’s up Steve Sarkisian!? Here, lets take Five”

…I don’t know now if we’ll ever get out alive. 

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