The trip to New Orleans didn’t happen overnight though.
“He loves football and enjoyed playing for the Poland Little Bulldogs,” said his mother Carmen Ramirez-Boyd. “It was at one game when a friend told us he should try track and field because he was so fast.”
That did become Marlon’s next challenge as he joined the Youngstown Striders at age 10 and competed in running events. He still played football and at Poland Middle School he took on basketball as well. He found handling three sports was not that tough, and last spring he tried four by adding baseball. That move led to an injury that saw him sitting out the spring sports season.
He healed nicely and was back in shape in time for the New Orleans trip. While at the Junior Olympics, he had to make three long jumps with the total score determining position. At Poland Middle School, Marlon had set a school record by posting a jump of 18 feet, 11 inches.
“He always has a good jump to start, then his second and third are even better,” Carmen said.
At the national event, Marlon jumped 19 feet, four inches. He had made it past 20 feet in practice and was set to do it in New Orleans. On his second and third jump, he touched the black line and was given the red flag by officials. Both jumps would not count towards his finishing score and yet his first jump was enough to rank him 10th in the nation. He competed against 79 other boys from across the country.
“I know he went over 20 feet,” Carmen said. “If only the red flag had not come out.”
She said he still has the honor of being 10th best. Prior to his New Orleans trip, Marlon was ranked number one in the region consisting of Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan.
In a couple of weeks, Marlon will enter Poland Seminary High School as a freshman. Carmen said he plans to continue his triple-sport career while keeping up good grades that will help offer him a choice in colleges.
He did receive an Archie Griffin award as an exepmlary athlete from his prior triple-sport seasons. During the past year he has also managed to average around a 3.5 GPA.
“He knows that doing good in athletics and academics go hand in hand,” Carmen said. “He also knows high school will present a new challenge.”
At this point, Marlon is not certain what he wants to do academically in college, but said he does want to someday play college football.
Photo courtesy of IPI Wisconsin-Event Photography
Poland athlete Marlon Ramirez, son of Carmen Ramirez-Boyd, Brian Boyd and Marlon Ellis, recorded a jump of 19 feet, 4 inches at the AAU Junior Track and Field event on Aug. 1 to be given the honors as the 10th best in the United States in the long jump.