There was completely no probability Casey Mariucci was going to surrender soccer, regardless of what number of accidents he suffered final season.
Good factor the 6-foot-four, 210-pound tight finish-defensive finish hung in there for his senior yr at La Jolla Nation Day.
Mariucci has only one recreation remaining as a Torrey, however it is going to be the most important recreation of his life as La Jolla Nation Day hosts Oakland McClymonds at 6 p.m. Saturday within the Division 5-A CIF State Championship.
Beginning with a damaged wrist in the course of the playoffs in 2014 — the Torreys gained the San Diego Part Division V title — Mariucci fractured an orbital bone round his eye in a 7-on-7 scrimmage towards Helix, separated his shoulder in the course of the common season after which broke his tibia in a playoff recreation.
“He’s from Nebraska, so he has that cornfield psychological toughness about him,” Torreys coach Tyler Hales stated. “He hates dropping, watching from the sidelines as a result of he’s harm, and he hates not being the most effective participant he may be.”
Wholesome all season, Mariucci has skilled a senior yr filled with memorable moments. In serving to win the part Division IV title, the Torreys earned their berth within the state championships with a sixty three-forty two win over El Monte Arroyo final Saturday within the regional last.
Whereas the workforce rolled up 590 complete yards final week, Mariucci caught 5 passes for one landing. On protection, he loved a lineman’s dream, returning an interception forty five yards for a TD to clinch the victory.
“The quarterback stored throwing display passes and that irritated me,” Mariucci stated. “I observed one thing he did proper earlier than he threw the move so I waited. I used to be stunned when he did it yet one more time.
“I didn’t assume at that time. I simply ran straight.”
Mariucci is second on the staff with seventy six receptions — Brennan Goring has ninety catches — for a workforce-excessive 1,283 yards and 12 touchdowns.
On protection, he leads the workforce with 141/2 quarterback sacks.
“We’re in such a groove proper now,” Mariucci stated. “This recreation is crucial factor in highschool for me.
“I really like my faculty and I really like my buddies, however soccer is the most important a part of who I’m.
“This would be the twentieth week of the season going again to our first follow and will probably be the height of my highschool profession.”
Fairly good reward for a participant who might have walked away from the game after all of the accidents he sustained.
“I used to be somewhat scared going into this season that it might begin once more,” Mariucci stated. “Soccer is in my blood. I can’t cease. If I wasn’t enjoying, I’d be confused on a regular basis.
“I keep in mind watching the film ‘Friday Night time Lights’ and seeing how these guys reacted to going to the state finals.
“I by no means thought little previous La Jolla Nation Day, or me, would ever play within the state finals.”
Mariucci, whose dad, Steve, is a 3rd cousin to former San Francisco 49ers coach Steve Mariucci, started his soccer profession as a fifth-grader in Pop Warner.
Although he didn’t like soccer at first, he caught with it.
“I used to be so skinny I had hassle tackling anybody,” he recalled. “I used to be so skinny they wouldn’t let me get hit.
“I don’t keep in mind what I weighed, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to play deal with soccer.”
Mariucci and his quarterback, Braxton Burmeister, solely the second passer in part historical past to surpass four,000 yards in a season, have been teammates since seventh grade.
That relationship has been on show all season for an offense that has gained 6,915 complete yards.
“He’s thrown me one million balls through the years,” Mariucci stated. “I feel I might run patterns in pitch black and he’d nonetheless hit me with a move.”
Monahan is a contract author.