A sit-down conversation with Edison High boys’ soccer player Marcus Henze revealed that he is quite articulate.
Many have seen a different side of Henze, who has been known to play dumb from time to time to draw people out of their shell. He believes it to be a good way to induce laughter, a foolproof way to endear oneself to others.
Henze said that his friends would describe him as loyal, and he has proven his value to his teammates in far more ways than his ability to provide comic relief.
“I’m always going to be a pretty loyal guy,” Henze said. “As long as my friends are there for me and they’re treating me right, then I’m going to be treating you right.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, but me as a person, I just want to treat people how I want to be treated. As long as you treat me right, I’ll treat you the same. That’s how I run.”
The senior midfielder set an example early in the season for what he might expect from his teammates going forward. He played through pain when his team needed him after suffering a back injury in the team’s second match against Estancia.
At 5 feet 9, Henze does not profile as the player that should be jumping into the air to win the 50-50 ball, but his willingness to do so has earned the respect of his teammates.
Confidence allows Henze to be effective against the more physically imposing lineups.
“If you have confidence, it gives you that freedom and that idea that you can do more and more,” Henze said. “It gives you the confidence to take a shot or drive or keep the ball, versus being nervous or being on edge the whole time, every time you get it.
“Sometimes, you don’t want the ball then, and it just makes it really hard as a team to actually play.”
In a nonleague road contest versus Estancia, Henze was having success when he tried to win loose balls. He charged in for another when the injury occurred, sending him to the sideline on a cart.
The back injury did not subside in the days to come, but Henze still made himself available in the capacity that he could for the team’s appearance in the Adidas West Coast Showcase.
“I knew it didn’t feel good, and I was kind of nervous about how much pain I was in,” Henze said. “I was struggling to walk, I was struggling to lie down, bend over. I ended up going to the [school’s] trainer, and she really helped me a lot.
“I knew that I probably wouldn’t be at my 100 percent, but I knew that we were down players and I kind of needed to go. If it was only 10 or 15 minutes to give somebody some fresh legs, I knew that was what I needed to do.”
Henze has returned to form of late. He scored two goals in five matches for Edison (9-1-2) in the Hawks Invitational. The Chargers edged Manhattan Beach Mira Costa 4-3 on penalty kicks in the championship match, with Henze providing one of the goals in the shootout.
In the semifinals against Saddleback, Henze scored the lone goal in the 30th minute. He struck from beyond the 18-yard box after a pass was dropped back to him by Grayson Marquez.
The trust that Henze has in senior Kai Peterson at holding center midfielder to clean up any mistake the Chargers might make on offense allows him to venture forward for better scoring opportunities.
“Playing attacking mid[fielder], knowing that you have that security in behind you, gives you the freedom to know that you can go forward more and attack,” Henze said. “It makes it a lot easier to get the ball and attack because they’re able to find you, and you have that opportunity to find the space and do what you can up front.”
Chargers coach Charlie Breneman said that he has been pleasantly surprised with his team’s defensive results. The back line of Padric Pigeon, James Broussard, Nick Morrell and Chandler Kane is a largely new group after the Chargers advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinals last season.
Breneman believes that Henze can be a key cog in getting Edison’s offense going.
“He has been part of the varsity group since he was a sophomore,” Breneman said. “He has been on a couple of good teams, and from that experience and his technical base that he has, it allows us to break down defenses.
“He has great feet. He has great vision, and he has the ability to unlock a defense with a pass. That’s really what he gives this group, and he continues to give the team this year, is that ability to find an open guy or even score a goal from outside of the box.”
Born: Sept. 17, 2001
Hometown: Huntington Beach
Height: 5 feet 9
Weight: 150 pounds
Coach: Charlie Breneman
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite movie: “Superbad”
Favorite athletic moment: Henze has trained with Hannover 96, a professional academy team in Germany.
Week in review: Henze scored two of Edison’s six goals across five matches in the Hawks Invitational last week. The senior midfielder also converted his penalty-kick in a shootout victory over Manhattan Beach Mira Costa in the championship match on Dec. 28.
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