Edwardsville High School All-State quarterback Dan Marinko escapes an East St. Louis tackler. Marinko was an all-purpose player for Edwardsville. He threw for 2,314 yards and rushed for 431, was named first-team All-State by the Illinois High School Football Association and News-Gazette of Champaign-Urbana.
EDWARDSVILLE – One look at the numbers tells you Dan Marinko has been a very special quarterback for Edwardsville's football team.
For the 2014 season alone, Marinko threw for 2,314 yards and 26 touchdowns and added 431 yards rushing, along with 12 touchdowns on the ground, as the Tigers went 9-2 on the season, winning their second straight Southwestern Conference title (going unbeaten in the league) and a second-round berth in the IHSA Class 8A Football Championship, where they lost a shootout to eventual runner-up Homewood-Flossmoor.
For his efforts, Marinko was well-rewarded with first-team spots on a pair of All-State teams, one from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and one from the News-Gazette of Champaign-Urbana. The N-G spot was his second All-State recognition from the newspaper in as many years.
“It's quite an honor,” Marinko said. “We were glad to get the program to where it needs to be. Winning the (SWC) two years now is great. We did want to win state, of course, but we had a great season.”
“He's got all the attributes you look for, especially at quarterback,” said Tiger coach Matt Martin. “He's a hard worker, very competitive, has a great work ethic. His leadership was a big part of our success.
“His decision-making skills are great, and he showed some toughness at times. He'd take some big hits and get right up and kept going.”
Part of that work ethic came in the film room and in video study, where Marinko would watch video of the upcoming opponents intently. “Watching the tapes was a great way to get ready for games,” Marinko said. “I'd watch tapes endlessly and would see other teams' tendencies and how to take advantage of them. With the technology getting better all the time (such as seeing videos on YouTube, for instance), you have to take advantage of it.”
Marinko's intelligence, both in and out of the classroom, also played a part in his success. “Things happen quickly on the field during a game, and Dan's ability to make decisions on the fly was huge,” Martin said. “Not every play you run in a game or practice is going to work, but Dan's ability to improvise and keep plays alive is tremendous.
“Whoever gets him at college is going to get a quality player and person. I'm glad he'll get a chance at the next level.”
Marinko, however, believes his success was a team effort. “I'd like to thank my teammates, coaches and everyone who helped along the way,” Marinko said. “Being named All-State is really a team award. I couldn't have done it without my teammates.”
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