Girard QB Waid ends career as all-time great
Four-year starter led Indians to first state title game in Girard history
By Brian Dzenis
Mark Waid didn’t have to do it, but he took all the blame Saturday night.
The Girard quarterback’s legacy as one of the state’s best quarterbacks is safe despite a 42-14 loss to Cincinnati Wyoming in the Division IV state final at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. He holds every passing record in Trumbull County and is the state’s fourth all-time leading passer in career yardage and yet, he felt the need to apologize for his play.
Waid went 11 for 29 for 194 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions against the Cowboys.
“I take full responsibility for our team’s loss tonight. I want to apologize to Girard, my teammates and my coaches,” Waid said. “It was an honor to play this game with them. I couldn’t be happier to come from Girard and represent our community.”
Indians coach Pat Pearson had a different take on the game.
“I told Marky on the field that it was his fault. It’s his fault that we’re in the state championship game,” Pearson said. “This kid is unbelievable. He’s the most unselfish kid that I’ve been around. I love him.”
Waid’s name can be said in the same breath as Nick Cochran, the school’s athletic director. Cochran was a former Ohio State recruit who later quarterbacked Youngstown State to a runner-up finish in the 1992 Division I-AA national championship against Marshall.
Waid finished his high school career with 11,658 passing yards, 117 touchdowns and 21 picks. He has a lifetime completion percentage of 60 percent.
On the ground, he crossed the 4,000-yard mark early in the first quarter and finished the contest with 31 yards in the game and 4,023 for his career to go with 66 rushing touchdowns.
As Waid often says, he did not put up those stats alone. This year, he was helped by a stellar offensive line of state wrestling champ Jack DelGarbino, Anthony Pratt, Ben Lileas, Diego Santiago and Haeden Gump. His top receivers included Nick Malito, Terrance Davis, Aiden Warga and Jimmy Jones.
“It’s special. These guys are my brothers. Coach Cochran is an inspiration in my life. He spent so much time and effort with me. Coach Pearson invited us into his home and treated us as family,” Waid said. “I’m just so proud to represent Girard.”
Malito was the top receiver with two catches for 99 yards, the majority of which came on a 95-yard scoring play in the third quarter, Malito caight a short pass and raced untouched for the Indians’ second TD. It was the longest scoring play in a championship final. Jones caught four passes for 59 yards.
Waid is committed to play football at Fordham.
“Not one day will go by where I will regret tonight, where I second guess everything, but I’m going to use this as motivation in my playing career and everyday life,” Waid said.