Fernandez commits to join father at Maryville College

Maryville High defender Marc Fernandez committed to continue his soccer career at Maryville College last month. With Fernandez at the high school are mom, Fran, and dad, Pepe, coach at the college.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Maryville High defender Marc Fernandez committed to continue his soccer career at Maryville College last month. With Fernandez at the high school are mom, Fran, and dad, Pepe, coach at the college.

It takes a special kid to play for his father, the other side of the coin little different.

In Maryville College’s Marc and Pepe Fernandez, the Scots could hardly have gotten it more right.

Marc Fernandez committed last month to continue his soccer career at the college where his father, Pepe, is the men’s and women’s coach. A defender by trade with a midfielder’s attacking mentality, Fernandez is more than the son of the coach, Maryville High School coach Steve Feather said. The Scots are getting a player who can make things happen.

“Marc is an unbelievable player,” Feather said. “He’s a midfielder we kind of converted to a defender.

“His dad, obviously, liked him because it’s his son, but he also had to see some things he liked on the field.”

Marc Fernandez was a key component of arguably the most successful Maryville soccer team in school history this spring. The Rebels achieved the program’s first-ever No. 1 state ranking, its first national ranking (16th) and scored an historic first-ever win over District 4AAA powerhouse Farragut.

There was never a question of going elsewhere to play, Marc said.

“Mainly, I love East Tennessee,” he said. “I grew up at the college and probably couldn’t see myself anywhere else but there. My dad and I talked about things, and he said he’d support me wherever I go, whether I played for him or not.”

It won’t be long before Pepe Fernandez reaps the benefits of his son’s decision, Feather said.

“The best thing you can say about Marc is he’s an extremely hard worker,” he said. “I think he’ll fit into their system, not because he’s Pepe’s son, but because he’ll work harder than the other guy.”

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