By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Marlon McDonald always had dreams of being the quarterback of a championship caliber team but his 5-foot-4-inch, 150-pound frame made it seem impossible.
That dream came into fruition Tuesday at Pioneer Stadium — albeit if only for a brief moment — as McDonald helped lead his squad of second- and third-graders past Kaden Secrest’s bunch in a scrimmage at the Stillwater High School youth football camp.
“It’s actually a lot of fun,” McDonald said. “I know they look up to me. I try to be a good influence and whatnot. I try to just be fair and give everybody a touchdown. Everybody on my team got a touchdown. We still won, but everybody on my team got a touchdown. That was my goal in the game.
“Even if it’s the little kids, I’m still proud that I got to be a quarterback. I still feel good that my team went out there and won and did their little thing.”
Being a quarterback for a winning team may have been the highlight of McDonald’s career so far, but it also comes with a lot of pressure — even at this age. Don’t believe it? Just ask Stillwater receivers coach Kyle Lucas, who had the responsibility of quarterbacking two fifth-grade teams pitted against each other.
“They’re competitive just like anybody else,” Lucas said. “That’s fun for me, when I see a little bit of competitiveness come out in some of the kids. That’s why I played all-time QB, I’m always trying to score on the opponent.”
That proved to be easier said than done when it came to his game. More than once an errant pass from Lucas ended up in the wrong hands. But like any good quarterback, Lucas shook it off, tightened up his sneakers and went back to work — not even letting the rush of the blitzing defense get to him.
“When it comes down to it, it’s all about having fun,” Lucas said. “If you can’t have fun out on the football field, there’s something wrong with you. Whether it’s playing football or throwing water on each other, it’s a great time.”
It may have been all fun and games for most of the kids, but for some of the bigger kids Tuesday’s scrimmages also fueled those competitive juiced that will get them through August.
“My team is going to go on forever,” McDonald said. “We’re going to win championships, my team’s that good. Kaden is not going to hear the end of this one.”
And although McDonald’s moment in the spotlight may have been brief as a quarterback, the reality is that the camp has developed a new love for McDonald — a love of coaching.
Even with his high school and possibly college playing days still ahead of him, McDonald has already discovered what he wants to do once his football career is over.
“Helping little kids? I could do that for a living,” McDonald said. “It’d be a dream to do that for a living — to work with little kids. That’d be really cool because I could teach them stuff that I already know because I’ve been and played in high school and hopefully I’ll go on and play college. After I get out, I want to come back and help the community. People say that all the time, but I really do want to come back and teach little kids, and just be a good influence on little kids and their lives coming up.”
As for Lucas, he isn’t exactly looking to find a second career as a quarterback anytime soon — opting to stick with the headset and let those younger and quicker than he is run the offenses.
“Absolutely I was (getting a workout),” Lucas said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost 10 pounds in water weight. I felt like I was cutting weight for wrestling, but it was pretty fun.
“Kids want to have fun and succeed, so moving the ball for them was fun. I understand a little bit more and I can see more stuff, but it was a lot of fun.”