Senior athlete in spotlight

Miguel Mariscal, an All-American athlete


NDP senior Miguel Mariscal was “left speechless” and “felt unstoppable” after being physically handed the All-American Award.

He received the All-American Award from the Arizona Coaches Association during the American Leadership Academy’s 29th Annual Fall High School All-Americans Banquet on Jan. 16. Four-year Cross Country and Track/Field athlete Miguel Mariscal has gone far above the standard expectations of a high school student and has become a standout in the NDP community.

Cross Country and Track and Field Distance Coach Brendan McMaster nominated Mariscal for his dedication and work ethic. Coach McMaster said, “He became the leading force behind NDP making state as a team this last year.”

Mariscal said, “Winning the award didn’t necessarily mean I had an excellent grade point average (which I don’t have) or the best athlete ever, but rather I tried to display leadership characteristics.”

There are hundreds of applicants for the award, but according to Coach McMaster, “Miguel stood out over his competition with his leadership. Everybody there had good grades, service hours and recommendations, but it was the recommendations from a teammate, coach, and athletic director that all talked leadership over those other qualities.”

According to Coach McMaster, Mariscal was nominated for the award because “I pushed Miguel in workouts and leadership roles and he responded.” Since the start, Coach McMaster said he “saw an athlete who worked as hard as the star athlete but was overlooked by the head coach from two years ago.”

Mariscal, left, and Coach Brendan McMaster at the Arizona Coaches Association presentation.

Mariscal also “became the leading force behind NDP making state as a team this last year” and “that needed to be rewarded,” Coach McMaster said.  He made state in both cross country and in track/field his junior year.

Mariscal, in response to his goals for this track/field season, said, “I am honestly just trying to make new friends and have a fun season by achieving my goals. I want to see others on the team reach their goals, too. I suppose that’s why I encourage people to try their hardest at practice.”

Coach McMaster said he was the most proud when seeing that “every day he comes to work and then he does extra.” He added, “I always give him a longer run than the rest of the team for practice, and he finishes before everybody.”

Coach McMaster said he believes that “there is no substitute for the character you must have to be an effective leader in the classroom, sports and spiritually.”

Not only does Mariscal participate in Cross Country and Track and Field, but he also participated in the Drama Club and Show Choir for all of his four years at NDP. Sophomore Sarah Ziemann participates in both Cross Country and Show Choir with Mariscal and said, “He’s great at communication, and he leads by example in both Show Choir and Cross Country!”

Ziemann added, “I have been a part of Show Choir since freshman year, and I have seen him step up and keep everything in order.”

Mariscal is on track for receiving the Honors Thespian award, which requires that 60 points need to be earned. Each point requires 10 hours of quality work. If he receives this award, he will have accomplished 600 hours of thespian-related activities.

In the future, Mariscal wants to get a degree in criminal justice and “see where that degree takes me. I think being a police officer would be great, but I’m just kind of going to go with the flow.”