WOLCOTT >> It mattered little to Logan Marchi that the results from a four-team scrimmage on that late August day would never be entered into the record books. The St. Paul senior quarterback still found himself tossing and turning in bed the night before acting much like a young kid counting down the hours until the process of ripping open Christmas presents could commence.
It didn’t take the UConn commit long to show off his strong right arm, connecting Reid Morin on a 35-yard completion on the second play against Plainville. He ended the scrimmage with scoring strikes on the final three possessions against host Wolcott.
The chance to get out on the field and sling the ball around only intensified Marchi’s anticipation heading into his senior season with the Falcons.
“I am excited to get the season going,” Marchi said. “Since the last game last year the emotions are high. I love the sport so I can’t wait to get out there, I couldn’t sleep the night before the scrimmage because I couldn’t wait to go live and see we’ve got.”
What the Falcons have is a Division I recruit at quarterback who was bitten by the football bug pretty much from the time he was 7 years old.
His infectious enthusiasm could be seen not only when he was barking out signals when he was running the offense but when he was over taking a proactive role when the St. Paul coaches addressed the defense even though he did not take a defensive snap during the scrimmage,
“When we huddle up I am the voice in there,” Marchi said. “When we are on defense I am always the voice. I always have to be around it. It is hard for me to stand on the sidelines and watch so I have to be around it. I am fired up, I want to defense to do well because the defense is technically a part of our offense because if they can do well we can get back out on the field. Vocally I am always out there. As a captain I have to stay vocal, I have to stay a leader showing these guys that you can’t give up when things are hard, you can’t give up when you give up a touchdown and you have to toughen up, you can’t teach that and it has to be inside the heart and you really want to play.”
Marchi came to St. Paul as a talented prospect who needed some refinement as he threw more incompletions than completed passes during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
“Logan, you talk about a kid who came in as a freshman and kind of came up through the program,” St. Paul coach Jude Kelly said. “He came in as a kid who was just a 14-year-old kid. Now he is an 18-year-old man, he has matured physically, mentally, emotionally. (Marchi has embraced) the leadership role, which is difficult these days to be able to step in and tell people what to do, so he has come a long way.
“He always had a strong arm and was blessed with athletic ability. I think his whole demeanor of taking charge of all the players on the team is where I think he brought it to the next level.”
As a junior, Marchi he had three games in which he completed more than 60 percent of his passes and ended the season by throwing for a career-high 449 yards and seven touchdowns in a 55-48 win over Hamden Hall.
“He is undersized but has a real good command of the offense,” Hamden Hall coach Joe Linta said. “He threw the ball exceptionally well and was the best quarterback we played.
“He is a great kid. We spent a little bit of time with him (when Linta’s son T.J. was being recruited by UConn). We went up to UConn for the Junior Day and spent time with the kid. I like the kid a lot. He is a great kid. He can play for me any day.”
Unlike Xavier’s Tim Boyle, who is a true freshman quarterback at UConn current seeing third-team reps, Marchi is not the classic drop-back passer that Boyle is but he is more comfortable moving around in the pocket and throwing on the run. There’s a pretty good reason for that.
“When I was 7 I wanted to be a running back,” Marchi said. “I didn’t want to be a quarterback and when we went through the positions I became a quarterback, ever since then I had the ability and I have been building it up every year to try to get better each year.”
All of Marchi’s hard work paid off during a summer than he won’t soon forget.
It started on June 16 when he became the first players from the high school Class of 2014 to commit to UConn just 2½ weeks after being offered a scholarship by the Huskies.
In July he opened some eyes when he led St. Paul to the Northeast 7×7 South Regional title. St. Paul won the title by beating out a field featuring 38 teams from Massachusetts to become the first Connecticut school to win the title. St. Paul stunned Mansfield (Mass.) 35-29 in the championship game. St. Paul reached the New England 7×7 championship game before losing to St. John’s Prep 16-14 in the championship game.
St. John’s Prep star running back and Maryland commit Johnathan Thomas told ESPN Boston after the championship game that Marchi “was a good quarterback, he was one of the best athletes on the field. He throws some dimes.”
Marchi could see the confidence gained from the run to the 7×7 championship carry over once St. Paul began to practice.
“That was awesome,” Marchi said. “It gave us some motivation and it gave us some confidence. Nobody believed in us but us. Our losing records haven’t shown our passing game but on 7 on 7 we got to show what we are about. We were an elite Connecticut team on 7 on 7 and the guys loved it and we are trying to carry it over to the season.
“We have every skill guy back from last year so we are trying to light it up through the air. We are getting better on the (offensive)-line and I am looking forward to slinging the ball around. They are going to make catches, they are going to make plays and they are going to help me out.”
One thing that Marchi is not focused on right now is his future at UConn. One of the reasons he committed so swiftly was so he could concentrate solely on trying to lead St. Paul to its first state tournament appearance since losing to New Canaan in the 2009 Class MM semifinals.
“I haven’t thought about it,” Marchi said. “I have been focused on my team and focused on what we are doing here and UConn is in the future. I am going to worry about that when it comes up, I am trying to get my team ready and I am trying to get them ready to make a run at this, make a run at the playoffs.
“The distractions, the calls, the recruiting, it is good to get it out of the way so I can focus 100 percent, It is nice to have the team know I am totally focused on them and not where you are going next year. It worked out perfect and I am glad the way it happened. I am looking forward to the season this year so we can move forward and not have to look back at anything.”