Jake Marsh, 27, went to Super Bowl XVIII.
He was more than just a very lucky 16-month-old toddler back in 1984.
His father, Curt Marsh, a football star at Snohomish High School and offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Raiders, helped trounce the Washington Redskins that day, 38-9.
During the post-game celebration, Jake was passed aloft by happy players such as Lyle Alzado, Marcus Allen, Art Shell, Gene Upshaw and John Matuzack.
How did the boy, raised under such a looming shadow, turn out?
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of who Jake has grown to be,” Curt Marsh said. “He is honest, respectful, hard-working and a man of faith. He is so good at what he does because he truly wants to do the best at anything he attempts to do. But even more so in the profession he has chosen because he has a passion for helping kids.”
The kids Marsh helps are members of the Monroe Boys &Girls Club, where he is the program and teen director.
“In 1988, my father retired from the NFL and started a successful career as the youth coordinator and eventually recreation superintendent at the city of Everett,” Marsh said. “As a teenager, I would occasionally tag along and help out when he would put on programs such as the Silver Mountain Challenge he created for at-risk youth.”
The teens were taken into the wilderness and taught to work together and depend on one another. Jake Marsh joined the Mukilteo Family YMCA as a teen coordinator and the Boys &Girls Club two years ago.
“Professional mentors such as my dad, executive director Bill Tsoukalas, athletic administrator and WIAA Hall of Fame coach Charlie Cobb and program specialist Susan Goettsch have given me the opportunity to set and achieve whatever I put my mind to in my career.”
He traveled to New York on a Teen Services Scholarship from the GAP Foundation, is a member of the National Professional Association, the Society of African American Professionals, the Academy of Boys &Girls Club Professionals and completed the advanced management level of Boys &Girls Clubs of America’s Leadership University.
And he is a musician.
“My family encouraged me to take piano lessons, play guitar, join jazz choir in high school and sing in church,” Jake Marsh said. “I am still able to pursue that passion as an adult and have led worship at Gold Creek Community Church for the past six years.”
His band, the Jake Marsh Trio, will perform at Monroe Boys &Girls Club’s BGC Music Festival Oct. 10 at Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek. Find a raffle and bands including Riverbend and The Side Project. Proceeds will benefit scholarships.
The Jake Marsh Trio, with Blake Ehoff and Bryan Seeley, has headlined at several Seattle clubs and will soon release a CD.
“We are all looking forward to the benefit,” said Curt Marsh. “His band and music is still a huge part of his life and now it is his mother’s and my turn to be in the crowd supporting him.”
What about sports?
Jake Marsh was 6 feet 3 inches tall in high school, 250 pounds, the epitome of a football player. Eager recruiting coaches eventually gave up shoving play books under his nose when they realized the teen’s passion was music.
“My dad never pressured any of his kids,” Marsh said. “We used to take his trophies apart and play GI Joe with the figures on top. The only pressure or expectation came from people outside our circle.”
In March, famous connections paid off. The Monroe club put on a successful fundraiser luncheon with Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable and Curt Marsh. Jake Marsh spent time as a kid with players such as Howie Long and Matt Millen, but they were just his dad’s friends.
“They would come over for dinner and watch TV. It was normal. The best memories of those times come from my mom and dad letting my imagination run wild and spending time in quality recreational programs for the arts and sports.”
Sure, as a kid, Dad took him to the park to play.
Only the park was 100 yards long. With goal posts. Trainers. And Raiders.
Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Monroe Boys &Girls Club BGC Music Festival begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Gold Creek Community Church, 4326 148th St. SE, Mill Creek. Find a raffle and bands including Riverbend, Jake Marsh Trio and The Side Project.
Proceeds benefit scholarships. Tickets are $10 general admission, free for club members.
For more information on the Jake Marsh Trio, call 360-794-4775, e-mail email@example.com or go to [URL]www.myspace.com/bgcmusicfestival;http://www.myspace.com/bgcmusicfestival[URL].[/URL]