Orrville High School this past season looked the some of the football days of old. Days that I remembered from my coaching days at West Holmes High School. One of the leaders of the recent success is Marquael Parks. All 5’8-160 pounds of him.
Last Friday night I had a chance to speak with him before his basketball game against Tuslaw High School. Then I watched him play some exciting basketball on the court.
A solid athlete with speed and quickness and burst. Long arms and strong hands. Runs the court really well. Good quickness to the basketball. Turned down some shots off the drive to pass to his teammates. Not a scorer. But a good team player. Enough basketball talk.
What I really liked was his overall presence. Did not force any shots. Did not try to do more than he was capable of doing. Total team player. Showed class. Again a team player.
Football – Only a 10th grader, but a high profile recruit in the Class of 2021. Getting some offers and getting looks from all levels of programs. Keeping the communication lines open. Cincinnati, Toledo, and O-State, among others have been in to see him.
Watched him in 7on7 competition. In the Semi – State finals. On the basketball court. Speed. Speed. Burst. Burst. Toughness. Toughness.
On the football field, he is electrifying. Excellent vision. Natural burst. Durable. Tough. Durable. In the State Championship game he ran for 198 yards on 22 carries and scored 3 times. For the season, he rushed for almost 2700 yards and 36 TD’s.
Marquael moved to Orrville, after his 8th grade year. He played football in the Columbus city league system in junior high. Believe that he would have attended Beechcroft or Northland. The move to Orrville was a win-win for both Orrville football and Marquael.
Like so many young talented athletes with talent, the light does not always come on as soon as I would like. The light is on for Marquarel. After a tough freshman year, he is focused. Carrying a 3.0+ last semester. I really enjoyed chatting with him. Only 5 minutes, but a good 5 minutes.
With a good group of athletes coming thru the system, solid coaching, and tradition, the Red Riders remind me of the the “old days.” Of course, having such a young man like Marquael Parks who is one of the top prospects in the Ohio 2021 Class to build around, does not hurt.