Meet our newest YFO All-Star selection Joel Marelis. I have coached Joel the past three football seasons. He played running back and linebacker for us. Joel is by far one best athlete I have ever coached. He led our conference in touchdowns and yards from scrimmage. When he gets the football, he’s electric. He was the best player on the field every single game (toughest conference in our state). He has great speed and balanced. He also can be very physical when he runs the football, it usually takes multiple defenders to bring him down. On defense, he was our leading tackler. He played middle linebacker for us and would make tackles all game long. He is very physical and does a nice job running through the ball carrier. Much like his brother YFO All-Star select Isaiah Marelis, he plays his best in the biggest games.
YFO: What does it take to be a good running back?
Joel: You need to be focused. You need good vision, speed, and strength. You need to run hard every time you get the football and break tackles. You cannot fumble the football either.
YFO: What does it take to be a good linebacker?
Joel: Always watch your keys and pay attention to the game plan. Playing downhill is very important. You must be able to find the ball as well. You have to play downhill and run thought the tackle.
YFO: What do you love about football?
Joel: Everything. I like making my mom proud. I like running the football and being a team-first player and creating new friendships. I always loved football because I am really good at it.
YFO: Why should kids play football?
Joel: You never know if you will like it or not. Football is fun, it’s like food, you have to try it to see if you like it. If I talk to kids, I’d encourage them to play. When I first tried football, I wasn’t sure how I would like it or if I would be good at it. When I played it, I turned out to be good at it so I kept playing. Football will also help you stay active and you will make new friends. There are so many positives that come with football. I encourage everyone to play.
YFO: What is your favorite play? Why?
Joel: Heavy Right 38 Jet. This play allows me to fly out of there fast and it gives me a lead blocker. It’s a great play for fast running backs. I scored at least 2 or 3 touchdowns a game on that play. My lead blocker (Evan) always made good blocks for me.
YFO: What are you doing this off-season to prepare for high school football?
Joel: Work out with my brother at coach Justin’s gym. I also do field work, agility work, and sprints. I want to work on my hands this off-season, I’m also trying to become bigger stronger and faster. I want to work on keeping my feet up when I run.
YFO: What do you want to do when you grow up?
Joel: Plan A- be an NFL player. I want to be a first pick in the NFL draft. Plan B- coach high school football. Always remember nothing is impossible.
YFO: What is your best football memory?
Joel: Being triple champs. We won our Division, Conference, and Eastern Regional Championship. My best memory is my teammates and how they all became family.
YFO: Tell me about a tough time you had in school, how’d you pull through?
Joel: It was last year, I had a hard math class. I struggled in it and I needed a good grade to play football. I got tutor and kept working at it and I got my grade up. It is the little things that count. Now algebra is fun, my teacher makes sure you get it before moving on.
YFO: Why is school important to you?
Joel: You can’t go anywhere without school. You need good grades to play football, so I do whatever to get my grades up.
YFO: Why is diet important?
Joel: Diet is very important. If you don’t eat good foods before a game you won’t play very good and you’ll feel sick.
YFO: What is your favorite foods?
Joel: Plain salad to lose weight for the season. My favorite snacks are granola bars.
YFO: If you could have one super power what would it be?
Joel: Super speed so I can get place to place very fast.
YFO: What are your main motivations for doing athletics?
Joel: I get a feeling, it’s the best feeling, it’s aggressive, football gets me hyped. I love hearing the sideline screaming, it’s the best feeling.
YFO: Do You have any goals?
Joel: To get a full scholarship to go to college.
YFO: What are your main strengths?
Joel: On defense, when I visualize, I see him in open space I dominate, I make sure I get that tackle.
YFO: How important is athletics in your life right now? (Rate between 1 and 10 where 10= Extremely High; 1 = No importance)?
Joel: 10, I got to be ready for high school football. I have to stay fit.
Joel absolutely loves playing football, some kids just have a passion for the game. It’s something he’s meant to do. Joel’s practice attendance was near perfect. He loved coming to practice and working hard. He had a tough weight cut early in the season and he stuck to his plan and worked hard to stay lean. He’s committed to getting better every single day. Joel isn’t just a dominate player, he is also a very good teammate. He is always encouraging and really appreciates his teammates and coaches. He is very coachable and a respectable kid. He has a quiet confidence and is very humble even though he is the best player on the field more times than not.