Nick Marshall was thrilled to be part of the action June 7 at the Orange County All-Star Seniors baseball game at Glover Stadium in Anaheim. He also felt humbled to be a part of the spotlight Saturday when he made his final appearance as a high school athlete.
He overcame a nagging injury to finish out his career with a bang. A three-sport athlete at Marina, Marshall capped a standout prep career Saturday by playing in the Ryan Lemmon Senior Showcase at Windrow Park in Irvine. The annual game featured top players from eight leagues in Orange County: Sunset, Trinity, South Coast, Sea View, Pacific Coast, Century, Empire and Freeway.
Marshall, who played catcher, had a single and run batted in as the Sunset League team defeated the South Coast League, 5-4.
He had played two innings at third base for the North during the Orange County All-Star game won by the South, 15-5.
"I am extremely honored and grateful that I got to play alongside and against some of the greatest athletes and players around," the 18-year-old said of his postseason experiences. "It is amazing that I got to play against some of the best and with some of the best."
Marshall excelled in three sports at Marina — football, soccer and baseball — and played key positions in all three (quarterback, goalie, first base/catcher). He has been on varsity in all three sports since his sophomore year and said he had "no doubt" that he was going to play three sports at Marina.
"I chose three sports because I felt I would rather play the sports in high school and focus on one later, and have no regrets later in life," he said. "In order to play three sports and be part of ASB and take AP classes, I had to make many sacrifices in my life. I had to spend a lot of time on my own working on my sports that were in the offseason. Also, I had to give up spending some time with friends or going on vacations in order to study or attend ASB events.
"All of this helped me grow as a person, because I have learned how to make sacrifices in my life and be completely focused on what I need to do."
But Marshall's sports career became altered in his junior year during football season. It was then that he separated the acromioclavicular joint in his right shoulder.
"I didn't feel it at the time most likely because the nerve endings were damaged when it happened," he said. "Because I didn't feel it, I played all of my junior year sports with it and began to notice something was wrong that summer. I was throwing a lot for football over summer since I was the only quarterback. I went to the doctors and had an MRI and a X-ray done."
Marshall said the X-ray showed that at one point his shoulder had become separated due to its inability to heal properly. The MRI showed that the separation wore on the rotator cuff and supraspinatus.
He underwent physical therapy that started last summer and continued into his senior year, but he hasn't had surgery on the injury.
"Even though I was fighting through the pain of this injury, I never took myself out of any sport, even though I did suffer a loss in strength because of the pain," he said. "I have not been able to play to my maximum potential because of this injury during my senior year.
"Also, because of this injury, I was kind of depressed on myself. The thing that helped me was relying on God to help me through it all. I am still in the rehab process and looking into certain things that might help it."
Last fall on the football field, the injury forced Marshall to adjust his passing game. He said loss of arm strength resulted in his throwing more "dump-type passes and making reads out of shot gun formation." He went on to throw fore 858 yards and five scores, completing 66 of 149 attempts. He also handled kickoff and punting chores and that's what earned him All-Sunset League honorable mention.
"Nick was a leader by example and a hard worker," Marina first-year Coach George Pascoe said. "He helped other players when he was hurt last summer. He worked so hard, then had an over-use injury last summer and couldn't throw for one month. He got through it and came back to help us turn the program around."
During the boys' soccer season, he started part of the season in the net , along with fellow goalie David Elias. In the spring, Marshall played catcher, a year after gaining All-Sunset League honors as a first baseman in his junior year. He got out of the gate slowly, going three for 21 before he got his offense in gear. He went on to bat .349 with 15 hits, nine RBIs, a .442 on base percentage and only struck out twice in 54 plate appearances during league play and earned second-team all-league laurels.
A two-time varsity team captain, he batted .254 for the season.
His final Marina baseball season was unique in that he played for his father, Bob, who was in his first-year as head coach of the program.
Bob Marshall had previously served as an assistant to longtime Marina Coach Paul Renfrow, who retired after the 2010 season.
"I am very proud of Nick's accomplishments," said Bob Marshall, who had coached his son through both Robinwood Little League and in travel ball. "Nick has battled through and played with injuries the last two years (that) he suffered in football. To me, Nick is an amazing individual and he took pride in all of his athletics, grades, his faith and being part of ASB his senior year. I am going to miss watching Nick out on the field and being part of Marina athletics."
Nick Marshall, who took AP and honor courses and was commissioner of athletics on the school's ASB cabinet during his senior year, is completing his four-year run at Marina by walking through commencement services Thursday. Not only did he play in two baseball postseason All-Star games in the past 10 days, but he's also been honored with two other awards at Marina.
On June 6, he was part of an induction class to the Larry Doyle Hall of Fame as the Most Inspirational Male Athlete. On Monday at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, he was presented with the Advisor's Award for ASB by Jennifer Bourgeois at the ABS end-of-year banquet.
"This is my second year at the school and I've really gotten to know Nick in that time," said Bourgeois, who is the assistant principal of activities at Marina. "What has impressed me about Nick is that he has really stepped up and stood out. He went above and beyond. I believe he has real potential to give back to society in the future."
Just as he was with his postseason baseball honors, Marshall — who said he is going to Golden West College where he plans on playing baseball and studying either kinesiology or engineering — was humbled by everything that has taken place in his final two weeks at Marina High.
"I always expected to finish high school playing sports, but I never thought I would be recognized for them," he said. "I am very lucky and thankful the Lord blessed me with all of these things."