Independence standout defensive lineman Marcell Guy is often described as a pleasant, fun-loving young man. That is, unless you are an opposing quarterback and big No. 52 is bearing down on you with bad intentions.
"In the locker room I am full of energy and I keep everybody happy and loose," Guy said. "Everybody knows when it is time to get serious though, and I will be serious. We stay focused and enjoy ourselves while we do it."
During his senior season, Guy was one of the anchors along the Patriots' defensive line, recording 59 total tackles and seven quarterback sacks. It was a season that saw him garner special honorable mention all-state selection. It also earned him a roster spot for the South Cardinals in the annual North-South Football Classic.
"It feels really great because my brother (Markus) also got the opportunity to play," Guy said. "I am really happy because I know that there could've been other people in that spot, but they picked me to play, so I'm excited."
A three-year starter at Independence, Guy played the last two seasons under head coach John H. Lilly, who he credits as being a big influence on his football success.
"Marcell has an energy about him that is contagious," Lilly said. "People like to follow him. That is a gift many don't have. I wish I could have coached him all four years. He is a raw talent."
Guy's love for football started at an early age and he has been full speed ever since.
"I have played football since I was really little," Guy said. "My grandpa would work us out in the backyard and ever since then, running and hitting people was really fun."
Although he has spent most of his career in the trenches, Guy did run the football some during his early years in youth football. He had always hoped to see a return to the backfield during his high school years.
"I liked messing with coach (Lilly)," Guy admitted. "Towards the end of last season, I would tell him, if he needed an easy touchdown, give me the rock, joking around with him."
"He begged me for two years, because all linemen think they are fullbacks," Lilly said, playfully.
In his final season in a Patriots uniform, Guy continued to sell his coach on the idea of him running the football.
"This year we talked about it and he said, 'Maybe,'" Guy recalled. "When he told me about it in practice, the whole team was happy and laughing. I never thought we would run it in a game."
On a two-point conversion against county rival Liberty last season, the legend of CellyBelly was born.
"When he called CellyBelly, I was like, 'All right, this is serious' and then we ran it," Guy said, laughing.
Technically known as 24-counter, Guy would get another shot at the limelight in the final game of the season against playoff-bound Wyoming East in a wild shootout.
During a key moment in the game, Lilly had no reservations about handing the ball to his athletic defensive lineman.
"They were keying on (running back) Atticus (Goodson)," Lilly said. "(Assistant) coach (Kevin) Grogg was Marcell's No. 1 ally in talking me into it. The line was jacked up to assist their comrade. Everyone went with Atticus and I am pretty sure he would have scored against the Kansas City Chiefs."
For now, Guy is hoping the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't force the cancellation of the North-South Football Classic, set to be played Saturday, June 13, at South Charleston High School.
Either way, Guy will be back on the field in the fall when he heads north to play college football in the Mountain East Conference.
"I signed to play football at Glenville (State)," Guy said. "I really liked the atmosphere up there. They are a family and I really felt like I fit in up there."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @Rusman1981