It is officially football season here in St. Joe. The Chiefs are long gone, and all eyes are now on the Missouri Western Griffons. Each new football season brings new excitement and for a good reason. The Griffons have recently named senior Dom Marino as their starting quarterback. If this name sounds familiar, their may be a couple reasons for that. First, his name sounds very similar to a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Second and more importantly, Marino played in nine games last year, starting seven for your Griffons. Originally a transfer from East Central Community College in Mississippi, Marino is more accustomed to the league this year.
“Football is a little different at this level. Those games that I played in [last year] definitely helped me out,” Marino said. “I got used to the speed, used to the preparation. It’s different than junior college. You have to know what you’re doing, what they’re doing and execute.”
Head coach Matt Williamson liked what he saw from the senior this offseason. After some competitive battles amongst the quarterbacks, Williamson feels confident naming Marino as his guy.
“Nothing is ever given to you. You’ve got to earn it, and he’s earned it,” coach Williamson said. “Every single day he’s come out and performed well and took on some leadership roles.”
An asset Marino brings to the quarterback position is his ability to run. Marino rushed for 518 yards last year and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Having a quarterback with that kind of production in the running game is very beneficial for the Griffons.
“With a quarterback that can move and run, it’s a totally different game plan. You have to cover all avenues,” coach Williamson said. “It’s very difficult, especially if they’re electric and can run and score, which he can do.”
Not only do Marino’s legs help in the running game, but in the passing game as well. Senior wide receiver Brock Broughton enjoys having just a little extra time to get open.
He can extend plays. When maybe a play breaks down a little and he starts scrambling, that helps us out because all we have to do is get open, and he can move around and find us.”
When Marino isn’t playing football, this exercise science major enjoys the typical college guy stuff like hanging out with friends and his girlfriend, playing video games and fishing. When he is back home in Florida, he enjoys more water sports, but being with friends stays the same.
As a person, Marino is also very upbeat and always has something positive to say. He shows good leadership qualities and knows how to talk to his teammates.
Broughton said, “He’s the kind of person you want on your team because if something goes a little wrong, then he can make you smile, make you laugh and get you through it.”
Marino wants to be this kind of leader that can uplift the spirits of his teammates. “I take pride in my ability to understand my guys and to know what gets them going. My job is to put them in the best spots to be successful,” Marino said.
With a quarterback like Marino, it’s no wonder Missouri Western is excited for football season.