MARC NECOECHEA

HELIX HIGH

1985

This former member of the Secret Society played safety for the Highlanders in 1983 and 1984. In Marcís senior season the Helix defense set a number of school records surpassing the marks set earlier by the strong Helix defenses that led the Highlanders to CIF Championship appearances in 1978, 1980, 1981, and 1982. Marc and his teammates tied the team defensive record set by the 1982 defense by allowing opponents just 6.3 points per game. This defensive unit also set a school record for fewest yards allowed per game (177) and had the second and fourth ranking for fewest yards of total offense allowed in one game (38 yards against Grossmont and 81 yards against Monte Vista). This defensive unit allowed only 776 rushing yards for the entire season, an average of 77 yards per game. Both of these marks are number two all-time. Marc and his defensive backfield teammates were equally effective allowing only 642 passing yards the entire season. This mark ranks number two all-time in Helix history. The 80 yards allowed passing per game is also number two all-time in school history.

Marc continued his football career at Grossmont Junior College and in 1887 transferred to the University of California at Santa Barbara. At UCSB Marc became an impact player recording over 100 tackles in two seasons. His senior year he also led the team in interceptions with 8. Playing in his final college game against Western New Mexico, Marcís playing career took an unusual twist. In the mid 1980ís NFL Europe (as it is known then) was starting to grow and representatives of the European clubs were scouting American college teams in order to recruit players wanting to play professionally in Europe. After watching Marc play, representatives of the Manchester ball club offered him a contract to play in Europe. Marc along with teammate Randy Downard and Arizona State quarterback Danny Ford were the only Americans permitted to sign with the Manchester club

Interestingly, Marcís expertise and background as a player in the United States became an added asset as he not only played but also coached his fellow teammates. In time European football flourished to what  became then an extension of the National Football League across the sea. Marc thus became a pioneer in a league and in a sport that at one time was nonexistent in that part of the world.

Marc and his wife Denise and three daughters Taylor, Elle and Kennedy settled in the San Diego area where he was a practicing dentist until 2008. In 2006 Marc was diagnosed with brain cancer and he fought a courageous two year battle until God decided to take him home and grant him the eternal rest he earned during his short stay on this earth. Marc's life should be a reminder to all of us that our stay on this earth is only a temporary one and that what we do during our life will determine not only how we will be remembered but it will also determine what our fate will be once our earthly existence has come to an end. Marc's life was dedicated to serving God and helping others. He was a dedicated father and son and taught us that loving God and loving our fellow man are God's two most important commandments. For his pioneering efforts in taking his football skills and expertise to another part of the world, for his service to mankind and for the positive way that he influenced the lives of all who knew him, the Star Chamber is honored to include Marc in the Star Chamber Gallery of Stars. Marc, you are now truly a star in Heaven. Until we meet again my friend.

                      

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