The former quarterback at Oak Harbor High School and WSU is contributing as an assistant on coach Dave Ward's Cubs staff.

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SEDRO-WOOLLEY — During a recent practice at Sedro-Woolley High School, Marshall Lobbestael proved as focused and workmanlike as he did in his career as a quarterback at Washington State.

One minute, he was sharing tips with Cubs standout Seth Noble. A minute later, he raised a laminated play sheet above his head, explaining its subtleties to a group of players huddled around him. At one point, he stopped to confer with Cubs coach Dave Ward, who helped guide him to a state championship when Lobbestael played for Oak Harbor.

Not long ago, Lobbestael was reading defenses on the fly and staring down college opponents. His profile was high enough that his play — and bright red hair — earned him the nickname ‘The Lobster.’ Now he’s adjusting to a new role: assistant coach for Sedro-Woolley.

“High school football is all about playing and having fun. It was something I loved doing and something I wanted to be involved with on the coaching end,” he said.

Lobbestael was a standout at Oak Harbor, where he led the Wildcats to the quarterfinals his junior year and the Class 4A state championship in 2006, his senior season.

Even then, Lobbestael said, he appreciated the guidance he got from the coaching staff led there by Ward.

“Throughout high school, I was lucky to have a great group of coaches,” he said. “It made a good impression and a positive influence on my life.”

At WSU, after on and-off playing time throughout his first few years, he started nine times in his senior year, throwing 19 touchdown passes with eight interceptions and five 300-yard performances.

He was named the Cougars’ offensive player of a the week twice, was elected a team captain and recorded several career highlights, from a 337-yard performance against then-No. 7 Oregon and throwing three touchdown passes in the Apple Cup.

When Ward learned Lobbestael would be interested in coaching after he graduated, the coach was excited.

“I was just dreaming. That would be an awesome staff,” Ward said.

Ward said he was thrilled the school could offer coaching stipends to Lobbestael and Edmundo Corrales, the center on Oak Harbor’s state-title team.

“To get the one-two punch of one of best QBs we’ve had in the area for years and an offensive lineman on a championship team was our goal; somehow it all came together,” he said.

Ward said Lobbestael demonstrated his coaching ability early.

“He sees the good in people and wants to bring that to the surface. He can recognize if a kid is being selfish or detracting, or if a kid wants to be a good leader,” Ward said.

Lobbestael works primarily with quarterbacks and wide receivers.

“He always studied the game. It won’t take long for him to get comfortable, for him to get the kids to think like he does,” Ward said. “That’s the goal. To get the quarterbacks to see what he sees, feel what he feels. The longer he spends with the kids, the more they’ll understand how to think on the field.”