Hard work paying off

Q&a John Macdonald, Arundel, Football

November 28, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Reporter

John MacDonald is a three-year starting offensive guard on the fourth-ranked Arundel football team that is looking to advance to its first state championship game since 1979. Arundel (12-0) visits Suitland of Prince George's County at 1 p.m. Saturday in a Class 4A state semifinal matchup of 12-0 teams.

MacDonald, 5 feet 11 and 255 pounds, is a two-time coaches All-County guard following in the footsteps of his older brother, Michael, an offensive lineman at Arundel who graduated in 2004 and attends the University of Maryland.

MacDonald, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., won't be playing college football, but will instead concentrate on studying business. He carries a weighted 4.29 grade point average and scored 1,930 on his SAT, while also playing lacrosse and being involved in several school activities.

President of both the National Honor Society and the Kickoff Mentors, MacDonald also is a peer helper, group counselor, morning announcer and a member of the Spanish Honor Society.

In addition, MacDonald is a Sunday office manager at Our Lady of the Fields Catholic Church.

What's it been like riding a 12-0 football team into the state semifinals?

It's not an accident what we've done this year. There's nothing like working hard and achieving what you wanted, because of the hard work. We are where we are because we believed we could do it.

How much did your 18-12 loss to Old Mill in last year's regional semifinals help the team this year?

Losing to them last year was the worse time of our lives. It made us stronger this season, made us work harder and kept us focused on our goal to get to the state tournament.

Do head coach Chuck Markiewicz and his staff motivate you guys?

Coach Markiewicz is the most scary 5-foot-8 man you will ever meet. He and his staff motivate us to be better and expect a lot out of us. He challenges us with a goal. They are a player-friendly staff, the best in the state. They're all about football and the team and it rubs off on us.

Did you ever think the team would go undefeated?

We started thinking about going undefeated back on Jan. 4 in the weight room. There is no point lifting and working hard and not expect to be the best at what you do.

How much will you miss football after this season?

Oh, my goodness. There's nothing like it. [The team's] my family. You get to do something special with 50 other guys. I've never had a bond with a group like this in my life.

What will take from being a member of your high school football team?

It teaches life. Football is like the real world classroom. You can take English, math and science, but you don't learn about life the way you do being part of a high school football team. You learn to be on time, learn responsibility, dealing with all kinds of people and about the facts of life. You can learn more on the football field about life than in any classroom.

Where do you get all your energy to do all of those other things around school?

I always looked up to my brother, Michael, who was always busy. He had the perfect resume out of high school and is studying philosophy at Maryland. I've tried to be the same way.

Do you know where you are going to college and what your major will be?

I have three top choices: the University of Maryland, Penn State and Chapel Hill [North Carolina]. Those three schools are in the nation's top 20 for business. I chose those schools for academic reasons. I want to get into business because I enjoy working with people.

How did you end up in Maryland after being born in Colorado?

I was born in Colorado Springs and at age 7 moved to England and to Maryland when I was 9 years old. My dad, who was born in Virginia Beach, kept getting transferred working for Lockheed Martin.

Where was your mom born?

She was born in New Orleans and, yes, we have a great aunt there who got wiped out during Katrina, but she and my great uncle have rebuilt and are still living there.

What's the deal on being a morning announcer at Arundel?

It's tight. My best friend, Sam Edgerly, and I, who are complete opposites - I'm a jock and he's into drama - try to be exciting doing the announcements for a week every month. We make up our own intros and are given news to read. We go by Shake [MacDonald] 'n' Bake [Edgerly].

What kind of music is on your iPod?

Everything from gangsta rap to classic Disney songs.

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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