Marhefka enjoys special night as senior Bobcat
ATHENS — Jerrid Marhefka considers himself extremely blessed.
The 2013 St. Clairsville graduate realizes that what he experienced Wednesday evening at Peden Stadium on the campus of Ohio University doesn’t always happen.
Actually, many never believed it would happen for Marhefka.
There was never a doubt in the Ohio University wide receiver’s mind, however, and that determination won out as Marhefka and the rest of the Bobcats’ senior class were recognized prior to the win against Toledo as senior night festivities were held.
“It was a very special night,” Marhefka said. “High school senior night was important, but experiencing it at the college level is really cool.”
Marhefka, after all, arrived at Ohio as a walk on, simply looking for an opportunity. Now, five seasons later, he’s been put on scholarship, contributes and scored his first touchdown in a game against Miami of Ohio earlier this month.
Marhefka was especially excited to walk onto the field with his parents — John and Susan.
“My parents had to pay for me to go to college for the first several years and it was nice getting to walk onto the field with them,” Marhefka said.
Marhefka’s success is a matter of perspective. If statistics and honors are what’s sought, Marhefka hasn’t been impressive. However, there’s so much more to being a Division I athlete and that’s where Marhefka has shined.
As he looks back on his decision, Marhefka has nary a regret. He already owns a bachelor’s degree, he’s played in three bowl games and is a victory over Akron away from heading back to the Mid-American Conference Championship Game on Dec. 2 in Detroit.
“There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the whole thing,” Marhefka said. “I could have taken the easy way out and gone and done what people expected me to do and that was play at the Division II level. I decided to try Division I because I felt I could play there and I wanted to do what people say you can’t do.”
Though he had an extreme sense of pride and fulfillment as he hugged head coach Frank Solich and walked onto the field with his parents, there was some sadness, too.
“It was definitely emotional, especially when you think that’s the last time I’ll ever play at Peden,” Marhefka said. “But, our class couldn’t have gone out in a better way. Beating Toledo the way we did. It was a great win and just a great ending to our class’ home career.”
In a little more than a month, football will be a thing of the past for Marhefka. He’ll be packing up his apartment and moving out of Athens. But, he definitely has a solid plan in place.
“I just accepted a job in Columbus with a financial company, so I am excited about what’s ahead,” Marhefka said.
∫ ALONG WITH Marhefka, Linsly grad Chuckwudi Chuckwu, who also went to Ohio as a walk on, saw playing time on Wednesday. He was on the majority of the Bobcats’ special teams units.
∫ ST. CLAIRSVILLE graduate Brad LeCron is a member of the Ohio University cheering squad.
∫ ANNA MCNABB, a standout volleyball player at Heidelburg University, currently leads NCAA Division III in assists per set at 11.28. McNabb, who played her prep volleyball at Marysville in suburban Columbus, is the daughter of Mike and Cathy (Kester) McNabb. Mike is a graduate of Bellaire High School, while Cathy is a Bridgeport High graduate. Anna’s grandfather, Ray McNabb, still resides in Bellaire. She’s also the granddaughter of former Bridgeport residents Charles and Carol Kester.
∫ MELISSA WIERZBICKI, who is the daughter of Ted and MaLinda Wierzbicki, has helped lead Ohio Dominican to the Division II NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. Wierzbicki, who played her high school soccer at Columbus Bishop Watterson, plays keeper for the Panther. Her father Ted is a 1985 Bridgeport graduate, while her mother is a St. John Central alumnus.