Curtis maturing as player and a person

Published 10:07 am Friday, September 18, 2015

Marquise CurtisCassopolis football player Marquise Curtis has learned that talent alone doesn’t automatically give you a spot on a football team.

After showing promise playing running back and defensive back on the varsity as a freshman, Curtis wasn’t part of the team as a sophomore.

“He did not play last year,” said Cassopolis football coach Dan Purlee, who preferred not to get into the reasons why Curtis wasn’t on the team.

“I think the group of kids he’s around this year have helped him. This is a great team. These kids are unselfish and there’s great chemistry with this team. They play together and for one another. There’s no individuals on this team.”

You can now add Curtis to the group of Cassopolis football players that are humble and unselfish.

“I’m smarter now,” he said. “I know what not to do. I’ve learned a lot and matured. That has helped me on the football field and in the outside world.”

The 5-foot-8, 160-pound Curtis appreciates the opportunity to play football and follow in his older brother’s footsteps. DaShaun Curtis was a standout running back for the Rangers before graduating in 2010.
“(Marquise) has been on our sidelines for a long time,” Purlee said. “He was on our sidelines as a youngster when his brother was running the ball for us.”

Marquise flashed his talent on offense and defense against Mendon.

Curtis was one of many Cassopolis standouts last Thursday in a 41-6 win by the Rangers over perennial power Mendon. Curtis rushed for 118 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns. Defensively, playing linebacker and defensive back, Curtis returned an interception 59 yards for a score and he had a quarterback sack that pinned the Hornets back 14 yards.

“He’s an extremely talented kid,” Purlee said. “He was from day one. We’re happy to have him on our side.”

“I feel like I can make an impact on both sides of the ball,” Curtis said.

“I’m going to do whatever the team needs to help us get a W.”

Curtis said he felt that he let his team down in the first half of the Mendon game. Through the first two quarters, Curtis rushed for 38 yards on seven carries.

“I came out pretty slow in the first half,” Curtis said. “In the second half, I knew I had to turn up my play for our team. I just wanted to play hard and help us get a W and make the seniors happy.”

With his team leading 14-6 at halftime, Curtis helped his team pull away by contributing touchdown runs of 16 and 34 yards in the third quarter.

“He’s just bought into his role,” Purlee said. “He had just a handful of carries (in a 35-8 Cassopolis win over Brandywine in week one). He’s fine with that. It’s about the team for him. He’s doing a nice job for us on both sides of the ball.

“I’m happy he’s bought into playing defense and not just focused on offense. He had a pick-six on defense and made a great play. He also had a big sack down there by the end zone.”

When asked what’s next for himself and the team, Curtis didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“Keep winning and get ready for New Buffalo,” he said.