Nor'easters forward Pablo Marques wins national award

The former NJCAA National Player of the Year adds another award to his trophy case

Nor'easters forward Pablo Marques wins national award

Ocean City Nor'easters forward Pablo Marques (Joao Pessoa, Brazil) has added another prestigious award to his resume. Marques was honored to receive the Lea Plarski Award, which is presented annually to a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) student-athlete who exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, community service, academic excellence and athletic ability.

Men and women are both eligible to win and Marques becomes just the fifth soccer player in the 27-year history of the award to earn it.

"It’s a honor having all the effort I’ve put on and off the field being recognized by those who give out this award," said Marques. "I am so thankful to my teammates and coaches who have worked with me, all the staff at Indian Hills, my teammates from the past year and Coach Nuss. Without them, this would not be possible."

Pablo Marques got a head start on playing at the Beach House in 2022. Marques was part of the Nor’easters’ roster for the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup back in March. He scored a goal and played 116 minutes in Ocean City’s 1-1 draw with Lansdowne Yonkers FC (Lansdowne won the PK shootout 4-3).

Marques arrived from Brazil and lit up the junior college soccer world as he enrolled at Camden County College under current Nor’easters head coach Kevin Nuss. In his freshman year, he scored 12 points and added 9 assists as the Cougars reached the National Semifinals.

In his sophomore season, he led the NJCAA in goals with 21 in just 14 games, while also adding six assists. He led the Cougars to the national championship game that year, while falling just one goal short that day. He was named the NJCAA Division III National Player of the Year and was a First Team All-American.

Marques then followed current Nor’easters head coach Kevin Nuss to Iowa where he enrolled at Indian Hills Community College this past season. Marques continued to shine, tying for the league lead with 13 goals in 20 games which earned him All-Region honors and the team’s Attacking Player of the Year.

This fall, Marques will be continuing his college education at the University of Tampa.

"Winning a award like this, make me feel more excited to keep working and also encourages me to continue to be a strong leader and exhibit good sportsmanship, and to be a good teammate and a good athlete," said Marques.

Off the field, Marques volunteers as a resident advisor, assisting students who live on campus with day-to-day challenges, in addition to being a member of the NJCAA Student-Athlete Council (SAC), a leadership national council that equips student-athletes with tools for regional and national involvement that can be used at the institutional level as well. He was also named the Heart of Service Award recipient at the Indian Hills Athletic Choice Awards, an award that recognizes a team or individual that contributes to the college campus and surrounding communities in the Indian Hills Community College region. 

In the classroom, Marques maintained a 3.875 GPA in his Associate of Arts degree and received Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) All-Academic honors each term at Indian Hills and has also been nominated for NJCAA All-Academic Team honors.

"Anyone who knows me as a coach, has heard me talk about Pablo," said Nor'easters head coach Kevin Nuss, who has also coached Marques at Camden County College and Indian Hills Community College (Iowa). "I’ve been lucky to work with a number of extremely talented players and most of them were even better people but Pablo is another level for me. I am humbled to have been able to call myself his coach for the last three years. Being a small part of his career has been a massive pleasure for me but I am thrilled to see what he does next."

According to the NJCAA website, the Lea Plarski Award is named after Lea Plarski in recognition of her tremendous service to the organization. "The former director of athletics at St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley (MO), Plarski was instrumental in establishing the Women's Division of the NJCAA in 1975 - the first national collegiate athletic organization to develop such a structure. She served as Vice President of the NJCAA Women's Division from 1975-90. In 1990 she was tabbed as NJCAA President, becoming the first woman to hold the top elected position in the association. Known for her tireless dedication to student-athletes, the Lea Plarski Award honors her numerous accomplishments and service to the NJCAA."

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