Geibel’s presence helps Pirates reach new heights

Geibel’s presence helps Pirates reach new heights
Dave Mast

Coming into the 2023 season, Garaway quarterback Brady Geibel went through a crash course to learn a new system. His gradual improvement helped pave the way for a record-setting campaign for the Pirates.


Garaway quarterback Brady Geibel knew coming into this season he had to be a student of the game.

With little experience at quarterback, Geibel went to work, and he blossomed into the type of quarterback who led the Pirates into the record books by leading Garaway to its first-ever state Final Four appearance.

“There was a lot of learning that had to take place,” Geibel said of learning the Pirates’ offensive system. “A lot of what I needed to get down was timing. I think you could tell early on that my timing was off and we weren’t exactly in sync.”

Much of the work was getting to know and understand the nuances of his receiving corps and getting everyone on the same page.

One of the biggest adjustments from past seasons has been the different style of play Geibel brings to the table. Geibel is a classical pocket quarterback, a change from the past several years that featured ultrafast quarterbacks who were more of run-first types.

Geibel said building chemistry and trust between quarterback, running backs and receivers was a process, but he said he felt the group grew and got better with each passing week.

Wide receiver Jenson Garber, who set several school records this season, said the two of them worked relentlessly on timing patterns and getting to know and understand one another this offseason.

Geibel said the minute details of the game is where they eventually were able to make great strides.

From day one of practice through game one of the regular season to the state semifinal, Geibel said he has developed a great deal, although he said he isn’t yet a finished product.

He said he became much more comfortable midway through the season and credited a great deal of that to one group in particular.

“My offensive line has been incredible,” Geibel said. “I have a huge amount of confidence in them, and they have given me time to really survey the field and do my job. Without them I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”

Geibel may have moved to Sugarcreek this year, but he came in with some background with at least two of the Pirate seniors.

Garber and linebacker Wyatt Wallick played together in pee wee football in third grade at Tuscarawas Valley, where he said he began his quarterback career with one simple task.

“Jenson was our running back, so my job was to hand him the ball and let him do his thing,” Geibel said. “Then about every fifth or sixth play, we’d run a naked bootleg.”

However, over the years Geibel began learning the ropes of the quarterback position, and after serving as the junior varsity quarterback at Dalton his sophomore season, where he also played H-back and defensive back for the varsity, he picked up the mantle of the Pirates quarterback, where there has been a lengthy succession of talented and award-winning players under center who have made major impacts on the program.

Geibel said he knew about the history of the Pirates’ football program coming into this season and knew about the pressure he would be under to continue that run. He also knew about Garaway’s struggle to get past week 13, where the Pirates have bowed out of the playoffs several times, having never fought beyond to play in week 14.

That all changed this year when the Pirates steamrolled their way into the Division VI state semifinals, where they met and fell to an old foe in Kirtland, which has sent the Pirates packing too many times.

“One of the things we wanted to do was win a region, which we accomplished,” Geibel said. “And that wasn’t me. That was an entire group of guys on offense, defense and special teams coming together to accomplish something that hasn’t been done here. It’s been a wonderful season.”

Garaway head coach Jason Wallick said all of the Pirates put in an exemplary amount of time preparing to crash through the record books this season, and his quarterback had to put in extra hours to make sure he was ready to step in and take the reins.

“He came in knowing he had a lot of work ahead of him,” Wallick said of Geibel. “He was raw, very raw. But he is one of those kids who is going to do whatever it takes to improve and make himself and the team better.”

The head coach also said Geibel fit into the mix quickly and easily, making the progression possible.

Wallick said Geibel’s growth came gradually throughout the season, which made it difficult to pinpoint one exact moment Geibel came into his own, and Geibel’s effort paved the way for a berth to a first-team East District selection.

“He’s a student of the game,” Wallick said. “He really watches the game and watches a ton of film, and that desire to study the game has helped him immensely, and he loves the game and likes to sit down with us as coaches and talk about the game.”

With another year to go, Geibel will look to add to the team’s accomplishments, and he said he is looking forward to more growth, which could be bad news for next season’s opponents.

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