When you love something you devote your time and energy to holding on to it. You work to protect it, build it, strengthen it and make each moment last. For senior, Marco Jordan, his love for family and for Desert Hills Football is no different.
With a full summer schedule of camps, training and working out, Marco was preparing for his final year after the last whistle blew. “I didn’t take any time off,” he remembers. “My summer was packed, with the All-Poly camp, time in other camps in Las Vegas to get more exposure, time at SUU, the 7on7s, my summer was packed with football and any free time outside of camps, I was in the weight room.”
After being dealt a difficult loss from Snow Canyon his junior year, Marco reflected a great deal on the course of that season. “With the last second play against Snow Canyon like that, in all honesty it lit a fire under all of us, especially the underclassmen, knowing we were coming back next year. That fire translated to more intense workouts, more footwork, running routes to get chemistry down with the quarterback.”
Relying heavily on his coaches to help them get to their end goal, avenge their loss to Snow Canyon being part, but primarily come away with a championship, the respect for what the coaches have laid out for them is something Marco looks forward to in his final season for the Thunder.
“We all have the same goal to make it to that last game and come out as champions. We are very family oriented and the chemistry on this team is clicking really well. Coach Franke has really set us up this season, it’s the Thunder Family, so it should be a very exciting season.”
‘Nana’ Antoinette Jordan, is certainly proud of the man her grandson is becoming and is equally appreciative of the examples set by other teammates as well as the coaches. “I have been so blessed to have him in my life as long as I have, to be there and watch him play since the 5th grade and to watch him grow into a man, it’s exciting. He works so hard with his team, the coaches, he has grown so much in the game because of it all. The brothers he has on the field are just awesome.”
The famous poet, playwright and actor William Shakespeare once stated, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
For Marco and the rest of the Thunder, it was forcefully thrust upon each one of them immediately early on in the first quarter against Jordan. The Thunder’s top-recruit and beloved player, Nephi Sewell, suffered a devastating injury, which resulted in a broken neck.
“That’s my best friend man. It was very hard for me to deal with that because I know the game means so much to him. To see my brother not being able to play, it really got to me. My emotions were all over the place. I wanted to make plays for him because I know he would be doing the same for me.”
Dealt with a sudden change of plans, Marco and Co. found themselves forced to grow and adapt rather quickly. “I was thrown into the situation because of his injury, we all were really. It was really overwhelming at the beginning and even throughout the season because I had very very big shoes to fill, but this season will be different for sure.”
Anxious to get on the field alongside his best friend and brother, Marco is looking forward to playing and working toward their common goal together. “We are all glad to have him back. It’s going to be an exciting season and I can’t wait to play with my brother again.”
“I really look up to Penei [Sewell],” shares Marco. “Even though he is younger than me,” continues Marco, “I learn a lot from him. He is really smart about the game and really helps me.”
“With the last second play against Snow Canyon like that, in all honesty it lit a fire under all of us, especially the underclassmen, knowing we were coming back next year“
Having difficulty establishing a running game against Pine View, Marco recalls the team needing to get some points on the scoreboard if they would pull out the win. Knowing his coaches expected a win Marco was grateful to be able to contribute. “I was able to put together some great carries and score for our team.” Finishing the game with just over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns, Marco again reflects on his family on the field. “We found a way together and were able to get the win.”
Possessing a deep desire to continue to play the game he loves at the collegiate level, Marco knows he has found an extension of himself in the band of brothers he has on the gridiron. “Family means everything to me. It’s so much about who I am,” he declares. “That is what I love so much about [the game of] football. I love how family oriented the game is. It has helped me grow as young man. I’ve never really had a male figure in my life growing up and [football] has helped me grow into something that I lack.”
Watching her grandson grow into the man he is becoming has been something she considers herself grateful to witness. “I am just so proud of him,” says Nana. “To see his determination, without having a father figure in his life, to do what he wants to do. He doesn’t do anything halfway. That determination in him makes me feel good. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Keeping with the tradition of selecting a number that means something to him, Marco wears one that represents family. With the #25 identifying the shared birthdate between Marco and his great grandmother Fran, Marco’s number serves as a constant reminder. “I take her with me for every game. She may not be able to be there with me in person but she can be in spirit. She was a great lady and I really looked up to her.”
“I’m just Marco. I’m no different from anyone else,” he humbly shares. “I’m just a guy who loves to play football and loves his family. My family is everything.” • HSSI