Taylor Marquardt’s Twitter bio (@tmarq24) gets straight to the point: “Hello world. I can grow a sweet beard.”
It’s not wrong. And growing a sweet beard isn’t all Marquardt can do. The senior has helped the Cascade baseball team post a 19-4 record this season, complete with a win in last week’s district championship against Lake Stevens.
Now, Marquardt and the Bruins head back to the 4A state tournament for the second-consecutive year, where Cascade hopes to do a little damage in the postseason. Herald Writer David Krueger talked with Marquardt about the Bruins’ season, their title hopes and, of course, the beard.
Q: So, I’ve got to ask about the beard. It’s just fantastic. How long have you been working on that for?
A: Since September — at the beginning of senior year.
Q: Any inspiration behind it? Is there a particular reason you decided to start growing it?
A: Just letting it go. I wanted to see what I could do with it. Just let it fly — it’s a baseball thing.
Q: Any unexpected challenges to growing the beard?
A: No. It was just letting genetics do its thing.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone, like myself, who has a little trouble growing a beard?
A: I think it’s all hereditary. I don’t know how you can train that. You might just be in trouble.
Q: What’s been the general reaction to it?
A: Lots of people have been saying, “Oh, that’s a sweet beard! That’s sick! How long has that taken you?”
Q: I bet the ladies love it, too.
A: Oh, they dig it. They love it. (Laughs.)
Q: I’ve got to get a beard. All right, let’s talk a little bit about baseball. How’s the season been going for you guys?
A: Great. We’re on a roll. We’re looking to hopefully get to that state title game and win it.
Q: You guys just won the district championship, how do you guys feel going into state?
A: We’re very confident. We think we have the talent and we put in the work. We think we’re capable of going all the way.
Q: How much do you guys know about your first-round opponent, Gig Harbor?
A: We’ve heard they’ve got a lefty that might be throwing against us — maybe in the mid-80s. That’s all we know right now.
Q: How much does being at state last year help out this time around?
A: That experience has helped us. We know where we need to be and we’re more comfortable in the big games. Last year we were here, so we know what we need to do.
Q: What would be a successful year for you guys?
A: Just playing our toughest. Playing good baseball. Not going out with mistakes. Just playing strong. And winning a title.
Q: The 4A tournament is always tough, how do you feel about the 4A bracket?
A: We think we have a good shot.
Q: If you guys win a state championship will that be the end of the beard?
A: I want to keep it but my mom wants it to go for graduation. It’s probably going to come off.
David Krueger, Herald writer