1980 article: Ishpeming's Mark Marana

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1980 article: Ishpeming's Mark Marana

Postby Hueby » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:18 pm

Some months back while visiting up in Marquette and doing some research, I ran across this article on former IHS standout Mark Marana.

I hope I'm not overlooking anybody, but when one mentions "U.P. Football" I can't think of one person who has contributed to U.P. football the way Mark Marana has. He has contributed to football at the high school and college levels as both a player and coach. For some years now he has been wearing two hats as the varsity football defensive coordinator and athletic director at Negaunee High School.

They have outstanding football coaches at Negaunee High School, and one should never rule out the assistant coaches who work endless hours behind the scenes.

I'm sure Coach Marana has helped given many young men some wonderful memories of their high school and football years.

Here is the article:
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Re: 1980 article: Ishpeming's Mark Marana

Postby Hueby » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:20 pm

Written by Craig Remsburg Sports Editor
Mining Journal Tuesday August 19, 1980



Mark Marana took a beating last fall.

The 6-1, 165-pound Ishpeming High School graduate, moved from quarterback to fullback when 1979 pre-season injuries decimated the Northern Michigan University backfield, often found himself playing against gridders 50-75 pounds heavier.

Hulking defensive linemen pounded him. Mean linebackers clobbered him. Aggressive defensive backs even took some licks at him.

"I was really beat up after the Eastern Illinois University game," Marana said Monday during NMU's annual press day activities. "That was a real tough game. I came out of that game with my back all scratched, bruised, and just beat up.

"But even tough I was hurting, I didn't want to come out. No one is going to take my spot from me. I want to play football."

Marana, who quarterbacked Ishpeming to a state Class C championship in 1975 with Wildcat teammate Mike Dellangelo as his tailback, had to learn a new position almost overnight in order to play for the Wildcats.

"It took me a while to learn the blocking and pass catching techniques, but as far as the plays were concerned, I should have known them as quarterback anyway," Marana said. "Steve Salani (former Wildcat) really helped me with my blocking, though I learned not to take those big players high, but to stay low on their legs and thighs."

"Mark's our best blocker in the backfield and is also exceptional in our passing game, particularly on screens and delays," NMU coach Bill Rademacher said. "To do what he did last year is virtually impossible to believe-almost incomprehensible. He never made a mistake and he made his grade film every week.

"He has tremendous heart and he's the best receiving back we've had. He'll see a lot of action this year, either at fullback, tailback or quarterback, depending on any injuries we may have."

Marana snared 51 passes last season to rank fifth in the nation in Division II. The receptions were good for 407 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball 50 times for 168 yards and a 3.3 average.

It's no surprise Marana made good in his opportunity to play. After being recruited by Michigan State then leaving two years later for NMU when pass-conscious former Spartan coach Darryl Rogers had little use for an option quarterback, Marana wasn't about to let his big chance go by.

"After being in college for four years and never playing, the chance was there and I wanted to take it," the all-Upper Peninsula gridder said. "I just wanted a chance to do my best.

"I have no regrets (about MSU). It was a good experience and I met a lot of people. I just found out I wasn't good enough to play that caliber of football.

"It was a good move coming to Northern. I figured if I got to play in one game, then it would be worth it. I've had a great time, especially with Mike (Dellangelo) in the same backfield."

The physical education major worked full time for the Community Schools in Kingsford this summer, directing a weight lifting program at the high school for about 30 people a day. It was a good experience for Marana, to has already added 25 pounds to his frame by lifting weights 1 1/2 - 2 hours a day.

His goal this year is to win a national championship with the Wildcats, something he says the team can do if it stays healthy on both offense and defense.

Oh yes, He wants to do one other thing, too. He wants to play football- to run, block and catch passes. That should be obvious. He won't have it any other way.
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