Anthony Marascio has always had a natural instinct to serve and protect.
It’s a skill he developed on the football field over the past 15 years — playing for Father Judge High School and Lycoming College — and now he’s taking it to the streets.
A Northeast native and senior criminal-justice major at Lycoming College, Marascio plans to pursue a career in law enforcement after graduation.
“I’m hoping to go federal, become a U.S. marshal,” said Marascio, who is scheduled to take a qualifying test next month for the Pennsylvania State Police. “I don’t think I could sit behind a desk and do paperwork. I have to be out there and hands-on. I like to be put in situations where you have to think on your feet.”
He certainly has experience doing that.
Marascio spearheaded the Warriors’ football defense this season, a unit that led the league in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and turnover margin.
A 6-foot-2, 265-pound defensive end and team captain, Marascio led his team in tackles (59) for the second consecutive season.
He was named the Middle Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and received honors recognition from the online sports service d3Football.com.
Most recently, though, his heroics on the gridiron recently earned Marascio the American Football Coaches Association’s All-American honors. He is the seventh player in his school’s history — and the first since 1999 — to earn the prestigious title.
“I was happy. I was surprised,” said Marascio. “I think it’s a direct reflection of my teammates. I couldn’t be All-American if I wasn’t surrounded by the players and coaches that I had.
“I mean, when you can hold a team to under one-hundred yards week in and week out, you know you’re a successful team,” he added.
The Warriors finished the season 8-2 overall and 6-2 in the Middle Atlantic Conference. The squad tied for second place in the MAC with Widener University.
His recent All-American honors capped off a football career 15 years in the making for Marascio. He started playing locally for teams like Our Lady of Calvary and Liberty Bell, then moved on to Tom Coyle’s renowned football program at Father Judge High School before eventually joining the Lycoming College Warriors.
“In college, you’re playing against better competition. Everyone’s a little bigger and stronger,” Marascio explained. “I think Judge prepared me for that. It helped me grow as a leader being captain there (Judge) and it helped develop me as a player. It gets you ready for the next level football-wise and helped me develop my skills and ability.”
In high school, Marascio was a two-time All-Catholic selection and earned All-City and All-State honors his senior year.
Now 21, Marascio has grown a lot since his days playing for the Crusaders. Back then, Marascio was about 220 pounds. Now he weighs 265.
“I grew a lot physically,” said Marascio. “I also grew leadership-wise — being named captain junior and senior year. My athletic ability was raised.”
A four-year starter and three-year All-Conference player for the Warriors, Marascio ends his career with 227 tackles and an overall team record of 25-16 (18-11 MAC).
“I love the competitive nature (of football). I have so many moments, memories, from playing,” said Marascio. “To compete against the guy across from you, knowing that you worked harder and you can beat him. There’s a satisfaction in that.
“It would be nice to keep playing,” he added, “but I’m going to focus on pursuing a career in law enforcement now. I’ll stick to the books.” ••