Mark Ellis: A Key to the Trojans' Success

Senior running back is having his most productive offensive year.

Mark Ellis played at several different positions last season on both the offensive and defensive side of the football.

He was a cornerback and wideout and a running back behind featured backs Stephen Jahelka and Brian Fischer.

"Jahelka and Fischer were the main guys on offense for us last year," said Ellis. "I did most of my the damage on the defensive side."

But now that Jahelka and Fischer have graduated it has been his year to shine on the offensive side of the ball.

"The coaches have me all over the field on offense this season. I've been a wide receiver and a punt returner but mainly a running back," Ellis said.

He has been effective in the position, breaking the school's all time rushing record in a game against Long Beach last week with 293 yards on 23 carries.

He also scored the first three touchdowns in an earlier game against New Hyde Park with runs of 61 and 65 yards for 133 yards on three carries.

Ellis picked up the game of football when he was 10, playing for the Hempstead Tigers Youth Football League.

"It was my grandfather who really inspired me to play. He played football when he was younger and actually was about to start his first season at West Virginia University before getting drafted into the Vietnam War," he said.

Ellis' parents were also former athletes, his dad being a big time soccer player and his mother a track star.

"I really have a family full of athletes and they all support me when I'm out on the field. In fact my grandfather has not missed a game of mine since seventh grade," he said.

He said his goal for the season is to lead his team back to the state finals and come away with a victory.

"We were so close last season. As a team captain I'm going to give 110 percent effort every game to make sure we get back to the states and win it," he said.

Ellis said his future aspirations include getting the opportunity to play football in college. "I'm going to send my tapes out to schools such as Syracuse, Delaware, Rutgers and Monmouth," he said. "I definitely feel I'm a prospect to play football at the next level."


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