Oakland Mills senior midfielder Cory Marcon is as fast with the ball as he is without, can control the flow of a game with his ability to distribute and also can find the top corner for a goal - which he did in the Scorpions' season-opening win over Edgewood.
In his fourth season on the varsity, Marcon believes that the leadership he must bring as team captain is as important as any of his work on the field. His goal for the season is to help bring the Oakland Mills program, which has won 12 state titles, back to prominence. Marcon maintains a 3.8 grade point average and wants to become an architect.
As a member of the National Honor Society, he is raising money so he can go to Africa next summer to help build a school.
What is the key to becoming a strong team leader?
I think the key element came from my freshman year, when I was on varsity and I started. I learned a lot from the older players, and I saw how they treated me. I took that, and I made my decision as to how I would be a leader because I knew this year would be my turn to step up and be a captain. So I really put into account everything I've learned the past three years and have tried to apply it all to this season.
What goals have you set for this season?
My goal this year is states - definitely states. As far as the county goes, we're going to use it to get our team stronger and stronger, and when the playoff comes, we're going to be rolling.
You've played basketball and other sports growing up. What is it about soccer?
I love the rush on the field when you got the ball at your feet. It's just something that I was a lot better at than other sports. I'm just an athlete, and I've always been a lot better at soccer than the other sports.
What's the key to playing center midfield?
Center midfield is definitely a tough position. My freshman year, I played outside midfield, so I had to do a lot of running. But center midfield is really about keeping your shape, and it's more about playing smart than running and playing as hard as you can.
What statement did the team make with its 1-0 win over defending Class 4A state champion Thomas Johnson last week?
It just shows that we can really do something this year, and we can make an impact in the county and then at states.
Hammond won the Class 2A state title from the South region last year, and now Class 3A state champion Mount Hebron and River Hill dropped down in that region. How tough is it going to be to reach states?
Right now, it's probably the toughest region around. We're going to see a lot of the teams that we'll see in the county, so it'll be a lot of hard work. But I think we can do it.
When did you first want to become an architect?
Maybe two or three years ago. Last year, I did an internship working construction to get a well-rounded perspective and some experience. I just love the fact that you could design something, create it and then it's there. As long as someone doesn't tear it down, you have a building on this world that's all yours.
Who do you most look up to?
I have a lot of role models for different things. As far as how I want to be successful, that's definitely my father. As far as how I want to be loving and caring and a good person, that's definitely my mother. And I guess the most well-rounded person that I look up to right now is probably my brother, Kyle. He's 20 right now and doing a lot of good work in the stock market. He's a bright kid.
What's the one thing most people probably don't know about you?
Actually, this one might be kind of embarrassing, but my favorite TV show right now is a cartoon on Nickelodeon called Avatar. When I was growing up, I used to watch Dragonball Z, and it just brings me back to those childhood days because it's such a great show. So I'll let the whole world know - that Avatar is a great show.