The engine that propels the Passion’s offense, Marirose Roach is one of the greatest running backs in the LFL’s nasent history. With the budding league having made the recent announcement that it will open a Hall of Fame, it came as no surprise to the Philadelphia faithful to hear that Roach was one of the four nominees for possible induction.
As the first player of African-American heritage to be a nominee for induction into the LFL Hall of Fame, it is a historic landmark in league history. Recognized as the LFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011, her solid numbers in 2013 were also testament to that nomination. Once again, she proved to be a reliable member of the Passion as she helped the squad to its third consecutive appearance in the league championship game.
Her nine total touchdowns only mark the beginning of what was another glorious season. As one of the league’s top rushers, her 540 yards were essential to the Passion’s push for a third consecutive conference crown. With the Passion having accumulated 668 rushing yards as a team, Roach’s output accounted for 81% of the yards gained through the running game.
While she finished second in receiving behind rookie sensation Courtney Larsen, her 10 receptions accounted for an impressive portion of the Passion’s passing attack. With her receptions totaling 26% of the team’s receiving offense, Roach may be the most complete offensive star in the LFL.
Perhaps more impressive was the fact that Roach even found the time to contribute on defense. Ranking fifth in total tackles, she was clearly the team’s most valuable player.
For fans of female football in Philly, Roach’s legacy extends far beyond the indoor perimeter of LFL play. Competing for head coach Mike Ochmanowicz of the Philadelphia Liberty Belles, Roach carved a remarkable legacy. Establishing herself as the National Conference MVP in the Women’s Football Alliance, she is truly one of the first superstars the City of Brotherly Love has known in the game.
In high school, Roach competed in sports such as rugby, track and lacrosse (a sport which former NFL running back Jim Brown also excelled in). At Temple University, she would compete at the NCAA Division I level in soccer along with track and field. Long an accomplished athlete, Roach deserves serious consideration for the LFL based on more than just her gridiron glories.
The element that truly makes Roach more than just a remarkable athlete but a woman of inspiration is her humanitarian efforts. A former member of the Advisory Board of the Black Women in Sport Foundation, Roach is also the founder of FootballHers. The noble cause is part of her goal to help provide young women with the opportunity to participate in the sport.
Also a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Panthers Football Team and the Harambee Institute for Science and Technology Charter School, Roach is proud of her active participation in the community. When not involved with football and charitable work, she is actually a partner in her own law firm. Having worked in custody, support and divorce cases, she is devoted to ensuring spouses and children obtain their appropriate rights.
A strong woman and an outstanding role model for young women, Roach has carved a remarkable legacy for women’s sport in Philadelphia. If the LFL Hall of Fame induction does not occur in 2014, it shall be an eventuality in her storied career before she hangs up her cleats. What she has an accomplished makes her more than just an All-Star on the field, but an All-Star in life.