“Hail, All Hail, MC:” A Spotlight on Marin Catholic Senior Football Players

Bill Schneider, VarsityPix

Genevieve Finn '17, Writer

Marin Catholic football is one of the most talked-about sports programs in the county. This 30+ year tradition of excellence has garnered MC much respect for on-field success. But perhaps more importantly, Marin Catholic football is as much about building character as it is about championships. We at The Roar talked to senior key players, Paul Kunst and Buddy Carlin, about their football journey from freshman year to senior year, and their hopes for this season.

Kunst, who plays Slot Receiver, remembers freshman football as a great experience, even though he broke his arm the first game and didn’t play half the season. He says that Coach Peralta taught him a lot about how to be respectful and how to play the game with sportsmanship and passion. He moved on to say that his JV year was tough at the beginning after they lost their first game, but his team showed resilience by winning every game afterwards. Kunst also credits Coach Mazi Moayed for inspiring him in his varsity year to strive to be his best by teaching him to work hard not only on the field but also in the classroom.

Carlin, who plays offensive and defensive line, describes moving up to Varsity football like this: “Moving up to Varsity is completely different than the lower levels. More is expected of each athlete and the game speeds up tremendously.” Carlin also mentioned Coach Mazi, saying that he has taught him that nothing in life is given out for free and that the person who is the hungrier, more driven athlete will always succeed because they pay attention to the little details whereas others look at the bigger picture and forget about their fundamentals.

So what makes MC’s winning tradition so special? Kunst explains, “It changes a team into brothers year in and year out. Now I know I have 50+ brothers who are willing to help me out in any situation. Through every coach I have learned how to kindly treat my teachers, friends, family, and neighbors and also respect and show great sportsmanship on the field.” This closeness and character guides the team through its ups and downs, and inspires them to work together and push themselves to the limit. “When we play any game, win or lose,” says Kunst, “I want to know we gave it our all and left it all on the field.”

However, even though MC football is serious about winning and good character, there are lighthearted moments as well. Kunst recalls, “One funny thing that occurred was one summer practice, we had to run a lap and at the end of the lap the defense and offense ran at each other like in a medieval war and everyone started tackling each other!” Carlin remembers two seasons ago watching former MC player Gunnar Graham do a Rocky Balboa-esque “dance-punching” pregame ritual that came out of nowhere. “It was a pretty funny scene to watch, but now I am able to understand his energy and I hope I am able to be that pumped up one day.”

This season, the sportsmanship and integrity will continue as new seniors like Kunst and Carlin lead the team. Carlin says that his goals and hopes for the season are “to grow as a team and build a strong bond with every player that will last a lifetime.” He also said that the team goal should be to get better and better each week and not settle for the norm, but instead give every last bit of energy and extra effort. He concluded by saying, “Football isn’t just a game, it is a way of learning life lessons through playing a game.”