Justin and Jordan Marra do everything together.
The third-year UTM twins have been playing football together since they were seven years old, and continue to do so even while they work on their postsecondary education. At 6’1” and 6’2” and weighing about 500 pounds between the two of them, these guys are literally a big deal.
After a full day of class, they hop on the shuttle bus and head downtown to Varsity Stadium for a five-hour football practice, which includes field time and a review of videos of previous games.
When asked why he plays football while he’s at university, Justin answered, “It’s just always been school and football.” Athleticism runs in the Marra family: their older brother played football for Team Canada, but had to stop after an injury. The twins have been on the varsity team since their first year, and plan on graduating after their fifth.
To be an athlete in any sport takes dedication and requires staying in shape and maintaining a healthy diet. When the Marra twins hit the gym, it’s usually with other varsity football players; they train together and motivate each other.
“As long as you can work out and eat properly, you can make progress and become a better football player,” Jordan said. “Don’t eat a lot, and definitely don’t eat McDonald’s.”
The guys put a lot of their time into their sport and their studies, leaving none for partying. “We have no social life during the season,” Jordan said. Justin added, “Partying is saved for the off-season, but we’ll go out as a team after a big win. It’s important, they say, for the players to stay focussed.
So far it has been a difficult start of the season, with the team starting at 1–3, and having just came out of a three-game losing streak.
You’d think it would be more convenient for Justin and Jordan to go to school at the St. George campus and enjoy the benefits of a reduced travel time to their practice and games, but they chose UTM for a specific reason: the atmosphere. They enjoy the chicken wings at the Blind Duck, the close proximity of UTM’s buildings, and the amazing recreational facility of the RAWC.
Of course, the twins aren’t the only football players who go to UTM. There are about 20 other guys who are part of “the freak squad”, as UTM players are called by their teammates. They encourage UTM students to head down to the Varsity Stadium, where they’ll receive free entry to watch the game.
The team’s next home game is Saturday, October 6, at Varsity Stadium, where they will host the Ottawa Gee-Gees.