KINGMAN – There were times last season when you could find Enzo Marino pacing on the sideline waiting to enter the game. That’s not the case anymore.
The senior is now under center for every snap as the starting quarterback for the Lee Williams High School football team.
“It’s been easier not worrying about when I’m going to go in and being ready for that,” Marino said. “I just get ready for ‘I’m going in and executing my job at that time.’ I’m not worried about anything else and I can focus on that.”
The improved focus has paid dividends for Marino as he’s completed 57 percent of his passes and thrown for 335 yards and two touchdowns in two games this season. Marino has also made sure to spread the ball around to a number of different receivers.
“Enzo has worked on his trade and is really good,” said Vols head coach Clint Sasse. “He distributes the ball really well. We’ve had five different guys catch passes in the first two games. That’s great distribution.”
The journey to starting quarterback wasn’t without a lot of work though. Marino started getting stronger during last year’s track season and he knows how much that’s helped him improve on the gridiron.
“I definitely think it helped me a ton with being more explosive, more mobile,” Marino said of track. “I didn’t used to be mobile at all. Now I can be explosive off the ball and get more yards than was possible last year.”
Marino continued to put in work during the offseason and Sasse said he had a “really good summer.” That no doubt helped him win the starting quarterback job, but last year’s other signal caller AJ Herrera is excelling in a new role.
“AJ is split out and he’s had a great year at receiver so far,” Sasse said. “He’s a great athlete out there.”
Herrera is second on the team with seven receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. While Herrera and Marino could very well be splitting time at quarterback, Sasse likes the current situation.
“It has helped us as a coaching staff to put all of our efforts into the one-quarterback system instead of running two,” Sasse said. “It also gets all of our athletes on the field and not having anyone sitting on the sideline.”
Lee Williams (0-2) will look to all of its playmakers tonight when River Valley (0-2) comes to town for a 7 p.m. contest at Volunteer Stadium. While the record may not show it, the Dust Devils aren’t a team to overlook.
“We’ve watched film on River Valley and prepared defensively and offensively,” Marino said. “They’re a good team so we’re going to have to come out and do what we do – which is work hard and execute our fundamentals.”