Here's how Marquis Harris of Bossier balances basketball, soccer and football
Harris, just a few weeks removed from being a receiver with the football team, is one of the two best players on the basketball team, currently rated second in the state in Class 2A. A workman around the basket, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound senior is equally adept within 10-12 feet of the basket. Avoiding a charge by him when he’s coming down the court at full speed is a good idea.
But Harris wasn’t really needed Thursday against the Pelicans as Bossier rolled to a lopsided victory in the tournament. So, leaving the sweat of the basketball arena behind him, Harris headed across the parking lot to the Bossier football stadium where the soccer team was playing Parkway. He posted two assists as the Bearkats tied Haughton 3-3.
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Harris dominates play in both winter sports, often on the same day, but he does it without a lot of fanfare.
“What Marquis Harris does for (soccer) is enormous,” Bossier soccer coach Orlando Medlin said. “Coming from playing basketball to playing soccer is to be respected. To have student-athletes who have that love for the game in these days when distraction is more viable than before is admirable. My coaching staff and I are very happy and grateful for his dedication.”
Juggling two major sports while maintaining your grades isn’t for the weak of heart. Harris practices with the basketball team during fourth block, then heads to the soccer field after school. In between, he finds time to study and maintains a 2.82 GPA.
“He is doing it the best he can playing two sports at a high level and excelling in both,” basketball coach Nick Bohanan said. “Several nights he will play half a game of each. When the soccer team played Benton, he played the first half of that and then played in our basketball game against Captain Shreve. That is very difficult, but he has a lot of energy and is in great shape.”
Basketball and football are his favorite sports and he’ll be active in 7-on-7 contests in the spring. He has a football offer from Lane College with basketball offers from BPCC, LSUA, Centenary, USC Salk and Louisiana College. His most significant sports accomplishment at Bossier was surpassing the all-time record of 50 goals for soccer, which he hit recently against Benton. And he’s good person in the locker room, according to football coach De’Aumante Johnson.
“Marquis is very outgoing with his teammates,” Johnson said. “He seems to have a lot of fun dancing around in the locker room.”
Bossier has been a statewide power in basketball, but his participation with the soccer team has been key in jettisoning the Bearkats to a top five team in the LHSAA Division III Power Ratings. Bossier (10-2-3) is rated ahead of Loyola, perennially one of the dominant D-III teams from Northwest Louisiana.
Harris said the adjustment from football to the winter sports has been challenging, and it’s tougher to adjust from soccer to basketball than vice-versa.
“I’ve just gotta remain focused,” he said. “I’m ready for everything it comes with.”
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.