By Ray Hamill — Gerard Marshall is getting ready to make some history at College of the Redwoods, and after that he hopes to make some at Cal Poly Humboldt too.
The 2023 Humboldt Sports Little 4 Boys Athlete of the Year, who was presented with his award before Saturday afternoon’s football game between Hoopa and St. Bernard’s in Eureka, is busy preparing for the next stop on his journey and has taken his talents to College of the Redwoods, where he will be a key member of the first Corsairs wrestling team in more than four decades.
And after that he would like to wrestle at Cal Poly Humboldt, which is expected to bring back its men’s team for the first time since 1991, perhaps as soon as next year.
“There were a couple of schools I planned on going to,” Marshall said. “But once they got the program going (at CR) and showed some interest, I figured why not go there.”
The Corsairs are certainly happy to have him on board as they get set to open the new season in Sacramento on Sept. 16.
“We’re extremely excited to have him and to have him stay locally,” CR coach Brandon Benvenuti said, before adding with a chuckle, “He’s about 260 pounds and can move like a cat We like that.
“He’s very athletic, very coachable, and he’s got a good wrestling background.”
“I considered football,” he admitted. “But I figure I was a little bit better at this. I might go back to football. I’ll see how wrestling goes. Football helped me become good at wrestling.”
He starred in both wrestling and football for the Warriors, winning back-to-back North Coast Section championships as a heavyweight wrestler and finishing in the top-12 in state in both years.
He worked hard to achieve that, including traveling to the coast to work closely with local MMA legend Cass bell, who trained Marshall at the Institute of Combat.
“I’ve learned a lot of new things (with Bell),” he said. “It was good to come out and train with Cass. He’s definitely made me better.”
Marshall also praised the influence of local coach Norman Lewis Jr., who “taught me how to wrestle high school folk style,” he said.
Marshall, who wants to major in Kinesiology, has been wrestling since he was 5 years old and says he is looking forward to the new challenge and his first taste of college wrestling.
“I just want to get better and have fun and hopefully go to state again,” he said.
And he likes what he’s seen from his new teammates.
“We’re coming together real good as a team,” he said. “We’re working real hard.”
Marshall and the Corsairs will host an Open Mat event on Friday, where fans can check out the team practice and see a couple of matches.
The Corsairs will also host a dual meet against Sierra College on Nov. 3 and are hoping to host a tournament on Nov. 11.
Marshall was also presented with a commemorative patch celebrating his back-to-back NCS championships by St. Bernard’s coach Sam Razzo before Saturday’s game.
A big shoutout to Mendes Supply, DelReka Distributing and The Stove Doctors for sponsoring this year’s Athletes of the Year awards.