Each time Marlowe Wax Jr. scores a touchdown for Mount Saint Joseph, his thoughts briefly wander far from the game.
The junior running back jumps off the ground and places a phone call to heaven to honor his father. Marlowe Wax Sr. passed away from a heart attack when his son was 8 years old.
At every Mount Saint Joseph game, Wax has a huge contingent of family in the stands, including his mother, sister, brother, aunts and cousins, but he never forgets his dad.
In a reserved and emotional celebration, he turns his hand, with thumb and pinkie pointed out, into a telephone, puts it to his ear and reaches high in the air.
“That’s me calling up to him and saying, ‘Thank you,’ and I’m doing this for him,” Wax said. “He was a huge influence on me. He would come to every practice and every game. He was always there and he helped coach me.”
Wax said he and a few friends, Chandler Johnson and Gaels teammates Amir Hall and Jordan Oliver, came up with the idea.
“We saw Antonio Brown do it in a game one time,” Wax said of the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. “Me and my friends talked about it at school and they were like, ‘Marlowe, you should do that.’ ”
Wax, the Gaels featured back, has run for seven touchdowns this season and honored his father every time. He scored twice in Saturday’s 21-7 upset of Calvert Hall that improved Mount Saint Joseph’s record to 4-1.
On his first touchdown Saturday, Wax, along with Oliver and Dont’e Thornton, made the call.
“It’s important to me, because he means so much to me,” Wax said. “He can live through me, because when he was young, he wasn’t able to play football. This is big for me, because I know he would be proud of me.”
Wax, who won’t turn 16 until December, is already on college coaches’ radar. He has an offer from Syracuse and likely will reel in more offers after this season. On Saturday, he ran for 92 yards on 18 carries, and he stood out on defense, too. At middle linebacker, he had 14 tackles, including seven for losses, as well as two sacks, two pass breakups and an interception.
“This year is a very big year,” Wax said. “This is when college coaches can talk to you and text you and everything. They’re really going to be looking at this year, so I have to have a big year if I want to have options for college. Really, it’s going good.”
There’s no question his dad would be proud.