Marco Shields is an imposing figure. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 215 pounds — the prototypical linebacker and wide receiver, thus making him a perfect fit for the Evergreen High School football team.
But what if there was no football season to be played? That was the dilemma the Evergreen High School senior was facing.
“I just wanted to play a sport in the fall. I just wanted to stay busy,” Shields said.
But when the Colorado High School Activities Association postponed the high school football season earlier this month, Shields’ primary sport — his go-to, as he puts it — was gone for the time being.
“It was disappointing,” Shields said. “I was looking forward to my senior year of football. When I heard that it got moved to the spring, that got me excited and gave us hope for a season.”
CHSAA’s decision also, however, provided an opportunity that otherwise he never would’ve had if not for that postponement: the chance to play golf.
He’s quite good at the game, as evident of carrying an 8 handicap and his eight years of playing. So, when the door opened to play this fall with the high school team, he kicked it in gear.
Shields was actually on vacation at Grand Lake when CHSAA postponed the football season, along with a number of other fall sports, such as volleyball and boys soccer, until March. But boys golf was a go, so why not try out.
He drove back to Evergreen the next morning, and a day later, he was on the tee at Applewood Golf Course trying to make the team.
“I got a message from his mom that he as interested in playing and could (he) still try out,” Evergreen golf coach Kathy Malpass said. “It was Tuesday of tryout week, and there had already been two days of tryouts. “I asked if he could get down here for Thursday’s tryout, and he made it down here.”
Then Shields promptly shot an impressive 78.
“This is awesome,” Malpass thought.
Shields more than proved not only that he was worthy to be on the golf team, but there was an alternative after the hand he had been dealt due to football’s postponement.
“This really has been a blessing for him to join our team,” Malpass said, noting not just Shields’ play on the course but the character that he brings to the team. His demeanor and sportsmanship are evident even to those who follow his every movement on the golf course.
“It just shows you what a wonderful young man he is and what an addition he is to our team,” Malpass said.
That hasn’t been lost on his new teammates, either
“He’s a very good athlete,” Evergreen High School senior and golf teammate Jack Mitchell said. “I love watching him play football, and I’m glad he’s got the free time to come play golf with us.”
“It’s good to be in a team atmosphere again,” he said. “It’s something that I really like and enjoy. If I couldn’t get it with football, I can get it with the golf team.”
He might not be making any tackles — at least one can hope not on the golf course — or catching any passes in the immediate future, but Marco Shields has found an alternative that may never have been if opportunity hadn’t presented itself.