Two-Sport Standout Marshall Howe Is Eager to Begin His Senior Season at Harvard-Westlake
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
The tougher the opposition gets, the better for Marshall Howe. The lifelong Palisadian is entering his senior year at Harvard-Westlake High in Studio City, where he is the starting quarterback on the football team and a guard on the boys basketball team. As a junior he threw for 1,873 yards and 16 touchdowns on the gridiron, then helped the Wolverines win 25 games and reach the Southern Section Open Division playoffs on the hardwood. Howe tossed four touchdown passes three times— in a home-opening 35-28 victory over Venice, in a 45-14 nonleague victory over Salesian and in a 30-27 triumph over Del Rey League rival La Salle in the season finale. The Wolverines finished 4-6 in their first year under head coach Aaron Huerta. Howe also played quarterback in eight games as a sophomore under previous coach Michael Burnett, completing 18 of 30 pass attempts for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Howe, who lived in Marquez Knolls until age 11 and now resides in the Riviera, played in the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association and in AYSO Extra through the U12 age group. His older sisters Mackenzie and Lochryn both went to Marquez Elemntary, St. Matthew’s and Harvard-Westlake, where Mackenzie starred in soccer and Lochryn in cross country and track. Mackenzie played soccer for four years at Northwestern University (graduating in 2018) while Lochryn ran cross country for two years at UC Berkeley (she graduates in 2021).Mackenzie works at Morgan Stanley in Chicago and Lochryn starts an investment banking internship in San Francisco this summer. As for Marshall, he is laser-focused on the upcoming football season. After that it’s on to basketball in one of the most competitive areas in the nation. Howe took time out from training to talk about what he learned last year and what his expectations are this coming year in the following interview with the Palisadian-Post:
PP: What is the most important thing you learned at quarterback last year? In what aspect did you improve most?
MH: The two biggest things I learned last year in playing quarterback were perseverance and the ability to be optimistic despite any challenge we might have been up against. To provide a little context, Coach Huerta (our current coach who was hired in December), is going to be my fourth head coach in four years. After my freshman year our head coach [Scot Ruggles] resigned and was replaced by a new coach [Burnett] who then was with us my entire sophomore year and summer going into my junior year. However, about three weeks before our first game, he resigned along with our top assistant, leaving us with four coaches who were there day in and day out throughout the season. That alone set up our season to be a very interesting one with some ups and a lot of downs, but it did allow me to learn the importance of adaptability and making the most of any situation. I believe all those things helped me become the best possible leader I can be for our team. I’ve made huge strides as a quarterback over the last few years but I think the area in which I’ve grown the most is as a leader.
PP: What offers have you received? What factors do you weigh when choosing a school? Do your sisters offer any advice?
MH: So far I’ve received offers from the University of Rochester in New York, Bates College in Maine and Benedictine College in Kansas, though I’ve been talking to many more schools across the country. Initially, due to instability at the head coach position at HW, most of the recruiting interest I received was facilitated on my own, which isn’t nearly as meaningful as it would be if conducted by the head coach. Once Coach Huerta, [offensive coordinator] Coach Carlsen and [quarterback] Coach Jenkins started settling in and working to get me recruited, I started picking up a lot more interest and I’m expecting to get many more offers over the next six months. The other huge factor in my recruitment right now is the COVID situation, which is making it harder to put my abilities on display in front of college coaches. As far as factors influencing my decision the main one is going somewhere I believe I can attain the best education while also having the best college and football experience. Right now I’m just trying to give myself as many different opportunities as possible so I’ll have a variety of options when it comes time to commit somewhere.
My sisters do give me great advice all the time as far as what I should look for in a college and what I should be thinking about to make the best decision possible and I’m really grateful for their expertise. They’ve been great role models both athletically and academically for me and I’m so lucky to have them both to look up to or turn to with questions.
PP: Are you still planning on playing football and basketball again if both proceed as scheduled in the fall and winter?
MH: As of right now, if the seasons don’t conflict the answer is yes, I’m definitely planning on playing football and basketball.
PP: What effect has COVID had on preparation? Where do you go to practice?
MH: The COVID outbreak has presented a unique and challenging obstacle for me and my teammates to overcome. Whether it be lifting, throwing together or recruiting, the whole system’s been totally thrown for a loop and has made adjusting to the new situation even more important. Since mid-March we’ve been conducting Zoom lifts and workouts as a team which I’ve found to be an adequate solution to an incredibly challenging issue. Nothing will replicate being in the weight room or on the field with your teammates, but our coaching staff has put faith in us as players that we’re able to work out on our own in addition to giving it 110 percent on Zoom so we’re prepared when the time comes to get back at it in person. Recently, I’ve been able to go to parks in the San Fernando Valley to run and work out with a few of my teammates and while that’s great, we really lose out on the team bonding aspect of working out together.
The other big impact of COVID has definitely been in recruiting. For a quarterback especially, one of the most important aspects in getting recruited is coaches being able to see you in person, see your demeanor and watch you throwing live, which could’ve been done during spring visits from coaches or at summer camps. Obviously, with the current conditions that’s impossible, so I’ve had to improvise and make the most of any opportunity I have to get in front of these coaches. I’ve had some success in making in-depth workout videos and sending those to coaches, but given my late start on recruiting due to the coaching instabilities, my recruiting will probably be at its peak once I can finally produce actual game film.
PP: Are there other Palisadians on the team? Did you play sports with them growing up?
MH: Yes, there are a few other Palisadians on the team. One of my closest friends, Charlie Wang, and I competed in basketball and football at the Pali Rec Center before we really even became close friends at Harvard-Westlake.
PP: What do you like about football and basketball? What drew you to them after playing PPBA and soccer growing up?
MH: I’ve loved both football and basketball for as long as I can remember. I’m a very competitive person so I’d say I’m drawn to pretty much any sport but the team camaraderie aspects of football and basketball in particular always made the games special to me. For football, my dad’s success and enjoyment of the game (he too played quarterback) was passed down to me and I’ve loved the ins and outs and strategy of the sport. Once I got to Harvard-Westlake and started playing tackle football for the first time I became friends with the people I still consider to be my closest friends, making playing with them for the last five years extremely memorable.
PP: Did you want to attend HW because it’s where your sisters went? Did you consider going anywhere else?
MH: Until 7th grade at St. Matthew’s I’d been in the grade above, though being born in October of 2002 I was far younger than all of my classmates. Once I got to 7th grade my parents and I saw an opportunity to repeat 7th grade at HW, where both of my sisters were, and we jumped at the opportunity. Not only is HW one of the best sports schools in the country, it allowed me to play tackle football among other sports a little bit earlier, while also placing me in the right grade for my age. Since I left St. Matthew’s after 7th grade I hadn’t thought about where else I might go and with both of my sisters having gone through or been at HW it just made the most sense.
PP: With St. Paul moving to another league, how do you like your chances in the Del Rey?
MH: I think we have a great chance to win it. Last year we not only had a late coaching change but we were plagued with injuries, leading to a subpar season. We have a very talented team and an amazing coaching staff this year and I’m expecting us to improve tremendously from last season, so for me not winning league would be a disappointment.
PP: Which football and basketball games will you remember most from last season?
MH: The two football games that stood out the most are our home opener versus Venice and our homecoming win against St. Genevieve. Both were fun to play. Against Venice, we fell behind 14-0 while one of our senior captains had already gone down to injury. The comeback and nailbiting finish were incredible to be a part of and I had a really good game, making it very memorable. As for St. Genevieve, homecoming is always an electric atmosphere regardless, but again the game was neck-and-neck all the way, finishing in dramatic fashion as well. For basketball, my best game was against Sylmar early in the season, but the most memorable was definitely our last game against Sierra Canyon at Pepperdine, which is something I’ll never forget.
PP: What do you enjoy most about living in the Palisades? Where do you hang out in town?
MH: I love the community aspect and the town itself. I enjoy going to lunch or dinner with friends at Cafe Vida or Garden Cafe and I love Beech Street also. I always enjoyed youth sports, whether it was basketball, flag football or PPBA at the park.
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