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Trojans' Marcum inks letter to play football for Franklin

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Wednesday evening in the Fieldhouse, New Castle High School senior Chandler Marcum signed a letter of intent to play football for Franklin College beginning this fall. In the front row, left to right, are stepmother Jennifer Marcum, father Brad Marcum, Chandler Marcum, mother Amber Fuller, and stepfather Aaron Fuller. In the back row, left to right, are NCHS football Assistant Coach Thanh Nguyen, NCHS football Head Coach Kyle York, brother Cameron Marcum, Gavin Ridge, sister Alyssa Solomon, sister Allie Fuller, and NCHS football Assistant Coach Jaymen Nicholson.
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New Castle High School senior football player Chandler Marcum (23) wraps up a Greenwood ball carrier with help from a Trojan teammate during last October’s sectional-opening 35-34 double-overtime loss to the Woodmen at Neal Field. This past Wednesday in the Fieldhouse, Marcum signed a letter of intent to play football for Franklin College beginning this fall.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

Another member of the New Castle High School football team will be playing the sport at an institution of higher learning, as Wednesday evening in the Fieldhouse senior Chandler Marcum inked his letter of intent to play football for Franklin College beginning this fall.

Marcum becomes the next on a list of players who played the gridiron sport for the Green and White who will be playing Saturday afternoon for the Grizzlies.

"I really liked the atmosphere down there," Marcum said of Franklin College. "I also like the coaches and I had a really good time on my visit down there. I just felt it is the place I want to be."

Marcum was asked if having some former New Castle players in the Franklin program played a part in his decision.

"Most definitely," Marcum replied. "I already know who I'm going to room with next year, and already knowing some of the guys on the team makes me feel more comfortable about my decision."

Marcum already has an idea of what his major and minor at Franklin will be and what he wants to do with his life once he gets his college diploma.

"I plan to major in business and minor in graphic design," Marcum remarked. "My junior or senior year I'd like to get an internship with Nike or Under Armor. I may go to some type of design school after I graduate, but what I really would like to do is design jerseys and team uniforms."

Marcum talked about his chances for playing time as a freshman for the Grizzlies.

"A lot of that depends on my workouts this summer and how I do in practice before the season starts," Marcum said. "It's sometimes hard for freshmen to get playing time, but I plan to work hard and do whatever they ask of me. I think their plans are to play as a defensive back at corner or safety. I might get some playing time on special teams returning kicks and punts."

Marcum got his feet wet in varsity football his sophomore season in 2016 when the Trojans finished 3-7 and 2-5 in the Hoosier Heritage Conference. That year, Marcum appeared in nine games and had 18 tackles (11 solo), carried the ball for four yards, and returned kicks for a total of 36 yards.

Marcum's junior season of 2017 was a very exciting one for New Castle, as the Trojans scored a lot of points and finished with winning records of 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the HHC. Marcum was a defensive player that season, played in all 11 games, and recorded 69 tackles (50 solo), intercepted two passes, returning them for 37 yards, and had five pass deflections.

Last fall, Marcum's senior season, New Castle finished the season 5-5 and 3-4 in the HHC. Marcum appeared in all 10 games, recorded 26 tackles (16 solo), returned an interception for five yards, and had four pass deflections.

New Castle High School football Head Coach Kyle York is very happy that Marcum has chosen Franklin College for his next step.

"We're trying to develop a culture here of not only developing good football players, but good students and individuals who will be a productive part of society," York said. "Part of that is getting a kid who is good enough in his sport a chance to play it in college while earning a degree that will set him up for life. Franklin is a good school for Chandler in that regard."

New Castle has sent a number of athletes to Franklin College and York talked a little bit about that.

"I have had great respect for Coach Leonard for a number of years," York stated. "He runs a program down there like we intend to run here in which you care about the individual as a person, not just as a football player. It's kind of like a family like we are here, and I think it offers a seamless transition from high school to college for our guys who go down there."

York talked a bit about Marcum as a football player.

"Chandler is one of those guys you can't get enough of on your team," York said. "He's a hard-nosed kid who works extremely hard and doesn't shy away from contact. With those attributes, I don't think he'll have a lot of trouble finding a spot at Franklin."

College competition is a step up from high school, and York talked about some things Marcum will need to do to enhance his chances of success.

"The college game is faster and more physical than that of high school," York remarked, "and Chandler knows this. We will need to get stronger and quicker. And where that happens is between seasons in the weight room. If Chandler spends a lot of time between now and when he arrives for fall camp in the weight room getting quicker and stronger, his chances for playing time will increase."

York talked about other aspects of college life that come into play.

"One of the biggest challenges facing freshmen who are playing a sport is time management," York explained. "You are there to be a student, first, and you also usually are on your own for the first time. You need to budget your time wisely to devote enough time to your studies and your sport so that you can be successful in both. If Chandler does this, he can be way ahead of others who don't manage time as well."

Marcum also is on the Trojan baseball team, and the regular season in that sport begins late this month.

"I played second base last year," Marcum said, "but I think they're going to move me to the outfield this season and perhaps have me pitch. We want to win 20 games and the sectional this year, and I think we have the talent to do that."

Marcum talked about his plans to prepare for next football season.

"They gave me this 10-week workout plan which I may start pretty soon," Marcum added, "and I'll be doing other things to become faster and stronger. I may go to some camps, practice starts on August 13, and classes start August 28. It should be a lot of fun."