FAIRHAVEN – As the rain trickled down at Alumni Field, Justin Marques darted around the rain drops as if they were South Coast League tacklers.
Rain drops, torrential rain, or even a Nor’easter doesn’t seem to have a chance to stop Marques from finding the end zone this season for the undefeated Blue Devils.
Marques is a dual threat as a running back and linebacker for the 6-0 Fairhaven squadron. The junior captain has his sights set on a trip to Gillette after two consecutive first-round losses in the Blue Devils’ most recent state tournament runs.
Marques has been destroying school records since his freshman year. He holds the single season touchdown record with 25 trips across the goal line in 2022, is tied for most touchdowns in a game with five and has accumulated 45 touchdowns with plenty of games left to play.
The 45 touchdowns is already the career Fairhaven scoring record as Marques continues to slice up defenses like the pizza from Galaxy Pizza House down the road on Main Street.
The soft-spoken Marques is a three-sport star for the Blue Devils in football, hockey and lacrosse and has been a full-time starter on both sides of the football since his freshman year. In just six games this season, Marques has 684 yards and 16 touchdowns. On defense, he has racked up six sacks with three forced fumbles. Marques certainly enjoys letting his play on the field do the talking.
“I think my strength is just being really tough (on the field) and having the grit and never wanting to come off the field and always wanting to battle,” said Marques, who has had game-day visits to Brown, Harvard, Boston College and Bryant, with UMass also on the schedule.
Everything hasn’t been cupcakes and candy for Marques as he suffered a torn meniscus in Week 8 of last season, yet continued to pile on the touchdowns through the end of the season and added 10 games for the hockey team before surgery put Marquez out of action until just two months ago.
Marques admits he isn’t mentally 100% over the injury and hasn’t had that signature breakout game yet in 2023. But no one can deny the toughness of the career touchdown leader for the Blue Devils – including head coach Derek Almeida – as Marquez is only halfway through his junior season.
“Justin raises the level of every player in our program, his intensity spreads,” said Almeida, who is in his fourth season at the helm in Fairhaven. “Justin has been a huge part of our success the past three years; he made an immediate impact on our program. I think others have raised their level as a direct result of his play and dedication. He makes an impact in all phases of the game.”
While Marques is nervous about the injury, it doesn’t show as he brings 24-7 energy around the team, gets everyone going, and gets the team level up. The Division 1 college hopeful has everyone following in his footsteps as the lead dive back in Almeida’s triple option offense in the backfield this season.
As the unquestioned team leader, even as a junior, Marques is rewriting the record book as well as lifting the two-time defending South Coast Gold Division champions on his back and hopefully to greater heights. The Blue Devils face Seekonk (0-6) Friday night with the chance to put a stamp on the division this early with wins over Bourne and Case already this season and shift the focus to the long-term goals.
With all the success and potential surrounding Marques, he remains grounded and humble. He doesn’t have to think long and hard about how he has elevated to this level.
“I just have to have a good mentality and I put in a lot of work in the offseason. The continued good mentality is key,” said Marques. “But I have to thank my role models, my parents 100%. Without their support, this isn’t happening.”
NAME: Justin Marques
SCHOOL: Fairhaven High School
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-11, 220 pounds
POSITION: Running back, linebacker
NICKNAME: No true nickname
FAMILY: Crystal (mom), Bruno (dad), Jordan (older brother), Jackson (younger brother) and Violet (sister).
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: My major accomplishment is making my parents proud and showing them that all their hard work is starting to pay off.
FAVORITE PERSONAL MOMENT IN SPORTS: Definitely beating Dartmouth last year on Thanksgiving.
FAVORITE COURSE IN SCHOOL: English – comes pretty easy.
LEAST FAVORITE COURSE IN SCHOOL: Oh, Math – 100%
FAVORITE PIGOUT FOOD: Definitely some gold fever wings; yes – the 99 Restaurant gold fever wings.
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Last Chance U (Netflix)
FAVORITE MOVIE: The Waterboy (Adam Sandler)
FAVORITE MUSICIAN: That’s a tough one – I like all music genres.
FAVORITE VIDEO GAME: Madden ‘24
FAVORITE SMARTPHONE APP: YouTube, as I’m always watching videos; but you must include HUDL as well.
FAVORITE TWITTER ACCOUNT TO FOLLOW: @FairhavenHigh – Fairhaven High School just to see everything going on at the high school and all the accomplishments from other people around the school.
FAVORITE PRO TEAM: New England Patriots – sadly
Fairhaven High football star Justin Marques has already scored 45 career touchdowns. And he’s only a junior. (Chris Christo/Boston Herald)