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Family Matters On and Off the Field

Senior Marquise Reid is one of M-A’s star football players, a standout even on a team overflowing with talent. Reid plays running back, free safety, and strong safety, but “in [his] opinion, running back is probably the most important position — not only do you have a lot of priorities, but you’re pretty much the leader of the offense.” Nonetheless, “for all these [positions], you’ve got to be smart with your vision.”

Reid is undoubtedly a visionary player. While personal success is important to him, success as a team will take precedent for the next few months as he finishes up his last football season at M-A.

As co-captain of the team, along with wide-receiver Tate Tussing, Reid sees himself as a motivational force for the rest of the team. “When practice is slow, [Tate and I] gather up [the players] and bring them back to the goal we talked about in the senior covenant meeting.” Emphasized by Reid, Tussing, and Coach Adhir Ravipati, the Bears’ ultimate aim in the coming months is to rise as one. Reid stated, “I’ve always been pushing people to do better. I’m not the most vocal person, but when I am, I really mean what I say. I keep my word. When I tell people I’m gonna show up, I show up.”

Reliability, sincerity, and a drive to inspire people are traits Reid’s family taught him from a young age; strong family ties continue to influence him to this day. He began playing football in third grade, when he played with the East Palo Alto Greyhounds. “My dad played football, my grandfather played football — football is a part of me,” he explained. “I feel empty without it.”

Reid talks strategy during the 2015 Homecoming game.
Reid talks strategy during the 2015 Homecoming game.

Track and field coach Alan Perry’s guidance has given Reid the opportunity to put his “focus on technique. In football, you definitely need to be fast, so track plays a big role.” Reid played “mostly free safety [during his junior year] because [he] was the fastest, and could get from sideline to sideline quicker.” On his improvement in football since he started running track, Reid remarked, “Freshman year I can’t say I was very fast — I’ve gotten faster over my four years at M-A and I’m really thankful to Mr. Perry for that.”

Coaches and family members alike act as irreplaceable motivational forces in Reid’s life. “My dad plays a big role in pumping me up or trying to keep me on my game, and my mom loves football; she goes to every game, even when I don’t play.”

Coach Adhir always talks about pushing through adversity. If you can [do that] you’re a winner. Even if you lose you’re always going to be a winner.

“My family has always been there for me. Even through the good times, the highest peak I could be at, they’ve always been pushing me to do more…when I’m at a low, that’s when they really start to jump on me because they know I can do better. In eighth grade when my grandma passed away, it was during football season and I felt like I didn’t want to play anymore because she was always at my games and always brought a big smile to my face…but Coach Adhir always talks about pushing through adversity. If you can [do that] you’re a winner. Even if you lose you’re always going to be a winner.”

This season, Reid will utilize this resilience and “be the best I can be…I will strive for greatness. I hope to finish my senior year strong and make everyone proud, [which] can go both ways. I will make all my [past teachers] proud, but also my family.”

To Reid, rising as one means playing as a family. “There are certain people on the team that just worry about themselves, and we want to change that to where [the entire team] is playing as one…with all of us on the same page…Another ultimate goal is to build a dynasty — for JV and freshman teams…to come up and fill our shoes, to finish what we started.”

Reid has been playing football since third grade.
Reid has been playing football since third grade.

This type of thinking, implemented last year by Ravipati, had a significant impact on the team. The SF Chronicle ranked M-A on its preseason list of the 25 best teams in the area; Reid believes that M-A made this list because of a new mindset, which particularly affected the performance of the team towards the end of last season. “[Initially] a lot of people doubted us. The year before that we went 3 and 8, but 3 and 8 doesn’t tell you anything about the team; 3 and 8 is just a record. It’s interesting that people doubt us because we’re M-A. We’re one of the best public schools around, but it’s not about the people who go here — it’s about how you focus and what you put into [a game].”

Reid has developed specific rituals to get in the right headspace before a game. “I usually meet up with my mom right after school and she brings me one peanut butter and jelly sandwich and one Nutella sandwich. I drink orange juice, apple juice, and water [from] Thursday night to Friday before the game. I listen to music until game time and, at halftime of the JV game, I take a lap around the track and lock in. A big thing is eye black; I have to have eye black to play.” Reid describes his pre-game playlist as “a lot of hip-hop, a lot of Meek Mill — music pumps [him] up a lot.”

After his last football season and his last year at M-A, Reid will certainly look back fondly at his time here; however, he is also ready to move on to bigger and better things. “My ultimate goal is to play college football. If not, I want to go into business or marketing. Also, I like to talk to people, so I might go into communications. I’m applying to San Jose State, Cal Poly…a lot of state schools…I’ve been thinking about [location] for a while. When I was younger, I wanted to leave California, but then I realized that family is all I have, so I want to stay close to home.”

When I was younger, I wanted to leave California, but then I realized that family is all I have, so I want to stay close to home.

During his time at M-A, Reid has become not only a better athlete but a better student, as a result of the coaches and teachers who were there for him in these past four years. The influence of his family and team members, however, has made Reid a better, stronger person. It is his family who supports him the most, and it is his team that keeps him going. “We all love to compete, but at the end of the day we’re all a family — we’re all brothers. It’s love when we’re on the field. It’s love.”

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