FAIRHAVEN, MA  (WPRI) — This week’s Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Hero is Justin Marques.

The Fairhaven Junior continues to place his name on top of all the Blue Devil Rushing marks. Already the school’s single season touchdown leader, Marques is on course to push his mark of 25 scores even further, while distancing himself from the competition as the program’s leading rusher. His impact was felt on varsity in his Freshman year.

“We had an older group, a lot of experience coming back so we didn’t have to throw him out the wolves, so to speak,” said Fairhaven Head Coach Derek Almeida. “We kind of blended him into the offense as we went. Just his presence in the program, leadership, the physicality he plays with, you know him, and a handful of others have changed the culture of what we do here.”

Marques’ leadership earned him a captain’s spot this Fall, a role he’s come to embrace.      

“It’s a very fun role being a leader, having people look up to you,” Marques said. “It’s very fun but it takes, it takes some seriousness. You can’t just be joking around all the time. You have to be serious; you have to be a leader. You got to be there for your teammates when they are down, and when they are up.” 

Justin’s numbers have put him on the radar of Division I college programs, and he’s visited Boston College, Harvard, Bryant, and UMass-Amherst. More touchdowns this season should earn him even more attention, but he’s trying to keep his focus on the Blue Devils as they shoot for another SCC Gold Conference title and a postseason berth.

“Well, I think he’s a Division-I football player, you know how high a level, I think is going to depend on how good a tape he puts out there during his Junior and Senior year,” Almeida said. “He had a major injury last year, so he was recovering from a knee injury, so I don’t think the recruiting was as big as it would have been. But I think after the Junior year he’s about to have, I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in him.”

“I feel like we can make it all the way,” Marques said. “I feel like we have a really, really good team, getting put together by our Coach. He’s amazing. He’s doing a great job with us. Everyone has got to be together. Everyone has pieces getting combined into the puzzle. And it feels really good so far and I feel like we’ll be able to go far.”

If you have a Hometown Sports Hero you’d like to nominate, email sports@wpri.com.