It's not out of the ordinary for quarterbacks to inspire their teammates with motivational speeches, helmet head butts or rump slaps. Yet Fort Hamilton (N.Y.) High quarterback Marvin Centeno found an all-new way to inspire his team to great heights: With his haircut.
As reported in the New York Daily News and the New York Post, Centeno showed up for New York City's Public School Athletic League championship game at Yankee Stadium with what can only be described as a unique 'do. On one side of his closely-cropped flat-top cut, Centeno carved the word "O-line", with the numbers of five of his offensive linemen on the other side.
The haircut worked wonders, helping inspire Centeno's offensive line to give him just enough time to find Brandon Reddish on a 26-yard touchdown pass that helped lead the Tigers to the first-ever PSAL title crowned at the new Yankee Stadium.
"I just did it to show them how I feel about them," Centeno told the Daily News. "I'm very close to those guys, and I wanted to do something for them. They've been protecting me all season so this was my way of telling them thanks."
The special haircut reportedly took approximately 45 minutes at Bay Ridge Brooklyn's "Next" barbershop. For Centeno, that was well worth it to pay homage to Fort Hamilton offensive linemen Najee Daniels, Ivan Foy, Kevon Foster, Mensur Ibric and Kimani Robinson, who helped protect him all season. They did their jobs well, helping set the stage for Centeno and his undefeated teammates, despite the quarterback playing the entire season with a knee injury.
The bonds of trust formed from those prior games left Centeno's teammates with plenty of confidence he would lead them to victory, even with before the quarterback's game-winning play in the third quarter.
"He was telling us to just give him time and he was going to make the throw," Foster told the Daily News. "He came through when we needed him. He stepped up. He's been doing that for us all year."
The real question now is what Centeno, who is only a junior, would do with his hair if Fort Hamilton earns a return trip to Yankee Stadium next year.
- Fort Hamilton