Five years ago I met Marcus Borden at a New Jersey Football Coaches Association meeting.
I was there giving a presentation on Nike football uniforms, coaches and players apparel for the upcoming season. We spoke briefly that night regarding my presentation, and at that time I had no idea where that would lead us.
After that meeting Marcus asked if I would like to be a sponsor for his All-Star football game, The Snapple Bowl. He stated the game was a charity game between Middlesex and Union County football teams for the Lakeview School and Specialized Hospital for Children.
Once he explained the goal of the game and what was provided to the students of each of the schools, I was honored to be a part any way I could.
The first year of my involvement, Marcus invited me to the annual visit/pep rally at the Lakeview School. Once there, I witnessed the students from the school interacting with the players and cheerleaders from the Middlesex team. It was one of the most amazing days of my life. As I walked the hall with a football player from the Middlesex team on our way to the pep rally, he had a few tears in his eyes. When I asked him why he was crying, he stated the students of the school had inspired him to play.
Since that first game five years ago, I have been able to continue great relationships with a number of coaches who volunteered their time for this game — Ben Lasala from Colonia, Scott Miller from David Brearley, and Chris Beagan from Monroe, just to name a few.
Then there is Marcus Borden.
I have never met anyone so focused at the task at hand. He is the type of guy who works harder and harder to accomplish a goal. If you know him, he is not the type of guy you can say no to.
Marcus has shown me that working hard can reap benefits never imagined. Three years ago, the Snapple Bowl raised $40,000, and that was during a time of economic hardship for everyone. This year he is looking to beat his previous mark and I really believe he will!
As the largest Nike Team dealer in the state of New Jersey, Sports Paradise will be providing the players’ uniforms, coaches’ game-day apparel and practice packs for all football players and cheerleaders. This year the players will be wearing the new Nike Combat Speed jersey and pants. This uniform is the same uniform being worn by NFL players this coming season. The Snapple Bowl is the only high school All-Star football game in the country wearing this uniform.