Younger Marks helps Hopkins top dad's Villanova team, 17-9 Father gave son blessing to transfer from Wildcats

April 03, 1997|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

A year ago, Dave Marks was playing for his father, Randy, Villanova's lacrosse coach.

Last night he played against him, contributing an assist in No. 5 Johns Hopkins' 17-9 victory over unranked Villanova (4-3) before 1,027 at Homewood Field.

This curious switch in allegiance originated last May in College Park, where father and son were watching Hopkins play in its fourth Final Four in five years.

"Dad, will you call Coach Seaman and see if he's still interested?" Dave said, referring to Hopkins coach Tony Seaman.

A high school All-American at Downingtown (Pa.) High and Pennsylvania's Player of the Year as a senior, Dave always wanted to go to Hopkins. The urge to play for a perennial national championship contender was unremitting.

But in 1994, when he came out of high school, Seaman had no scholarship money for him. Seaman didn't close the door, saying to keep in touch.

Dave had something rather nice to fall back on. He went to Villanova, receiving room and board because his father was employed there, and led the team in scoring as a freshman and sophomore.

"Hopkins has always been sort of my dream school, where there's always the chance to win the national championship," Dave said. "When Dad and I were watching the Final Four, in that great atmosphere, I was thinking I could play there."

Randy phoned Seaman, who looked at Villanova game tapes, called back and said, yes, he was still interested. This time he had scholarship money.

Thanks to his father's willingness to sign a release, Dave was granted, under NCAA rules, a one-time transfer without having to sit out a year.

So there Dave was last night, a starting attackman and sixth among Hopkins' scorers this season, playing against Villanova.

Hopkins (4-3) built leads of 11-3 at the half and 16-6 after three quarters against the Wildcats.

Dan Denihan led Hopkins with four goals. Dudley Dixon and Andrew Godfrey had three each, and Billy Evans scored twice.

"He's starting to fit in," Seaman said of Marks, noting that he had five goals in the previous three games. "As the season progresses, he'll do better and better."

From the age of 7, Dave followed Randy to summer camps, listening to the lacrosse wisdom of such coaches as Seaman, then at Penn. When Dave was 9, he heard Seaman's patented speech.

"Shoot righty and lefty, 100 times each a day, and one of these days a Division I coach will knock at your door," Seaman said.

Randy says Dave took that to heart: "If he didn't have a good game, he'd come home and shoot righty and lefty, 100 times each."

Maybe it didn't quite turn out the way Seaman said it would. But, hey, Dave Marks didn't mind that he had to knock at Seaman's door.

Pub Date: 4/03/97

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