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Message in a Necklace: The Marlowe Wax Story

Posted on October 6, 2021 at 9:45 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  Marlowe Wax, Jr., came to the Syracuse Orange from Baltimore, Maryland.

  He touched down in Central New York after carrying out his high school days at Mount St. Joseph.

  He did all of this without his father physically there, with Marlowe Wax, Sr., having past away back when his son was just eight years old.

  Marlowe Wax, Sr., passed from liver problems along with having had a heart attack, leaving a little boy to embark on life's journey without being able to physically sit down and speak with his dad about the highs and lows, the game he loves, and how to handle what comes his way, good or not so good.

  He had to learn how to be a man from the memories he had gathered up those eight years, and the lessons learned along the way.

  So what is the most memorable piece of advice Wax ever received from his dad? "To keep God first always," Wax shared. "And to love the ones who love me."

  Wax would be a three-sport athlete at Mount St. Joseph, competing in football, basketball, and track.

  Add in that on the football field he played both linebacker and running back. 

  In his junior season, Wax ran for over 1,000 yards, checking in at 1,046 yards on 138 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry, to go with 17 touchdowns.

  He would elevate all of those numbers as a senior, rushing for 1,330 yards (a school record) on 180 carries, for an average of 13.9 yards per carry, with 18 touchdowns.

  Wax also holds the school record for career rushing yards with 3,346.

  Defensively, he would amount 111 total tackles, including 23 tackles for a loss, to go with five sacks, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and three interceptions in his senior campaign at Mount St. Joseph.

  When asked about his favorite memory of his dad, Wax relayed how his dad was toward him when it came to sports. "Favorite thing, that's hard to say, but probably him being so supportive on the sidelines of games," Wax expressed. "How in to it he was and enthusiastic!!!"

  "That's probably what I miss most," he added.

  When he had a tough play, Wax's dad would say, "Just keep going. Don't worry about it. Have a short-term memory, forget about it and keep playing."

  "That's why I said what I said," Wax remarked, when speaking about the play this season against the Florida State Seminoles, a 33-30, last-second loss on the road where Wax went to tackle Seminoles' sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis by the sideline and Travis stayed upright, continuing down the field after Wax had stopped.

  Wax was asked about that play numerous times by the media and he kept saying the same thing, that he had already forgotten about that play and was no longer thinking about it and turning his focus to the next game, remembering his dad's advice, and living by it.

  Another way Wax remembers his dad is by weaing a necklace that holds within it a picture of Marlowe Wax, Sr. 

  "That was my favorite picture of [him] because of just seeing his smile," said Wax. "And people say we have the same smile."

  Although Wax's dad is not physically here, he believes his dad is not that far away, and that there is a way to bridge that gap. "I wear [the necklace] because I feel as though I'm always keeping him close to me and that he is always with me and watching over and protecting me."

  Wax, in his second freshman season due to an extra year of eligibility given by the NCAA during the COVID-19 pandemic, has risen to a prominent role on the team, as seen in him wearing a single-digit this season (#2), an honor bestowed by head coach Dino Babers on players who show prowess on the defensive side of the ball.

  As a true freshman, Wax played in all 11 games during the 2020 season, amounting 33 total tackles, including 5.5 tackles for a loss, with three sacks.

  In the first two collegiate games he was ever eligible to play in, Wax not only got on the field on September 12, 2020, on the road visiting the North Carolina Tar Heels and then on September 19th away against the Pittsburgh Panthers, but he recorded a tackle for a loss in both of these contests.

  Wax attained his first-ever safety in that true freshman season of 2020 when he brought down N.C. State Wolfpack quarterback Bailey Hockman who threw the ball out of the back of his own end zone and Wax was wrapping him up.

  His first career sack came as a true freshman as well, in a home match-up on October 17, 2020, versus the Liberty Flames.

  In his true-freshman campaign finale, Wax went to South Bend, Indiana, making four tackles on and recovering a fumble by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on December 5th.

  Within five games played this season, Wax has already equaled his total sack output of all 11 games last season, with three.

  When asked what he would say to his dad if his dad was right in front of him, Wax offered, "I would say, I just hope I'm making him proud with the person I'm becoming."

  A Division I student-athlete.

  Who has caught the eye of his coaching staff and been rewarded for it.

  A young man already starting on the field with his whole career ahead of him.

  But more importantly, someone who has manners and displays kindness and warmth, through simple gestures and acknowledging people.

  Marlowe Wax, Sr., may not have been physically here to do it, but he still raised one heck of a son.

  Someone I am sure he is more than proud of as he watches from the best seat in the house, from heaven above. 

  And who can be seen not only in a picture around his son's neck, but in the smile that his son shares with the world.

  A smile that counts for two.

Categories: Syracuse Orange Football, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA

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