Palmetto, July 5, 2018 – “It’s like backyard football, we communicate with each other on the field without actually talking to each other; we’ve grown into one person.” ~Anthony Marino, Palmetto Tigers Quarterback.
Upcoming seniors Anthony and Derek Marino are twin brothers in every aspect. With their father as Head Coach and his long-time loyal staff pushing and motivating, they’ve been successful taking on leadership roles, carrying out their jobs on the gridiron and keeping the young talent’s eyes on the prize.
I had a chance to speak with one of the twins, starting QB, Anthony, about his mindset, the organization, progression, his goals and preparation for the upcoming final season- here’s a few of his thoughts looking ahead with a common end-goal of holding the State Title high as a Palmetto Tiger.
“It’s been fun, growing together is changing us as football players and men. Looking forward most to just playing together- I’m back at QB, running back John Jones- 2019 guy as well as returning, four guys from our O-line are coming back, senior Luke Gullett at Guard and Center, senior Ryan Mcclintic another Guard and Center, Lee Matthews, our Tackle is going to be a junior, and John Bembry our NG and DT is a guy that plays both sides and a senior as well. Just working at spreading the ball around to young receivers; we moved Derek from Receiver to Strong Safety this summer so he’s working hard transitioning with the defense and adapting to that. It’s almost like we communicate on the field without actually talking to each other when we’re out there, we’ve grown into one person,” Anthony explains thoroughly.
“This year main focus is finishing drives and playing as a whole, my dad told me we needed QB after finishing my 8th grade year, so I played as QB my freshmen year, watching film every night, being held accountable everywhere, and then got my first start in the last game of my sophomore year.
Never had a coach like our QB Coach Ty, he helps me so much with reads, quickness, and my leadership along the way- I was the younger kid on the field but you just got have confidence and own it. One word would be winning- that’s the bottom line, did we game plan well enough? Did we outwork our opponent, that’s my motivation- can we just get on the field and do our jobs at the end of the day. Growing in the leadership role is my biggest attribute, speaking my mind to the team and bringing the guys back, letting them know it’s not over. My goal is just to become a better player and do everything I can moving along each week- playing our hearts out regardless if I make it to the next level or not.
Watching film, undoubtedly Anthony is a mobile QB as he rushed for 295 yards and tallied 6 touchdowns on just 42 carries in his junior year! In the air, he accumulated 1426 passing yards on 155/220 completions, throwing 9 touchdowns. His brother Derek contributed all over, consistently holding his blocks and finishing plays with his hands, putting up 1 TD as he totaled 119 yards on 15 receptions.
Anthony goes on to state passionately, “The organization is great, my dad and our coaching staff have been together for a number of years. We want to improve on both sides of the ball, have to be on the same page, the little things and togetherness will let us have a good run at the championship. I’d say in the NFL, Drew Bree’s would be my comparison- the things he does on and off the field, my build and his football IQ is something I take pride in. Away from the game, I like to hang with family and friends, and always stay active. The toughest part about my position is the constructive criticism and developing on change, my coach says we should live by the 3 C’s- calm, cool, collected. I enjoy every moment, high school goes by fast; seems like just the other day we were playing Bulldogs Pop Warner football and now we are rising seniors, been some up and downs, sometimes where both me and my brother have split reps with other guys and I’m sure it’s been hard for my brother because he’s still learning things at receiver as well as switching to defense and learning a whole new position and everything that comes along with being a safety, but all in all we are always ready to fill roles and carry out our duties as a team.”
Life as brothers and teammates, the Marino twins have matured together every step of the way, and they’re looking to seal the deal in their final 2018 debut as senior leaders with an outstanding supporting cast and a tenacious mindset to rally the guys to another victorious season.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor