Anyone who has ever stepped foot into the Philadelphia's First Union Center for a Wings lacrosse game over the past nine years surely knows the man they call "Hollywood". Tom Marechek has been a key to the Wings' success for nearly a decade.
Is he from Southern California? Not at all. A flashy style player, Marechek was given the nickname 'Hollywood' back in Canada during his youth lacrosse years. The name, which followed him to the United States, has become an almost household name in the Philadelphia area over the past nine seasons.
"It is something that started back in Junior A ball (in Ontario) and followed me here to the United States," Marechek said.
After being selected as Buffalo's first round selection (sixth overall) in the 1994 Entry Draft, the 5'10" forward was traded to the 'City of Brotherly Love' in exchange for the Wings third round selection. Marechek has worn the Wings silver, black and red ever since.
After nine seasons in Philly, Marechek has already placed himself among the upper echelon of not only his team but also the entire National Lacrosse League.
Born in Kitchner, Ontario, Marechek grew up playing box lacrosse ("boxla") before crossing over the border and attending Syracuse University from 1989-1992. During his time as an Orangeman, the team posted a 52-6 record and advanced to four consecutive national championship contests, claiming two titles. In addition, he was named to the NCAA First Team All-American squad for three consecutive seasons from 1990-1992.
"It [making it to the four straight championship games] was great and the most exciting moment of my lacrosse career," Marechek explained. "It was the first time I had ever played in front of 25,000 people, which was pretty spectacular."
Following his tenure at Syracuse, Marechek entered into his first season of professional indoor lacrosse competition, making an almost immediate impact with 33 points (14G, 19A) and a championship ring in just his first season. The honors didn't stop there. Marechek was also named 'Rookie of the Year' for the 1994 season.
Marechek ranks as the Wings all-time leader in both goals scored with 289 and total points with 535. In addition, he has been a part of four separate world championships squads (1994, 1995, 1998, 2001) while serving as alternate captain for the last two seasons.
"The Wings organization has been great," Marechek explained. "Everyone who is involved does a very professional job and treats you as a person first and a player second. Our fans are great and probably the best in the League."
As for his NLL accolades, those too are quite plentiful. As a seven-time All-Pro and two-time League All-star selection, his name has put fear into the oppositions defenders.
This past season was no different for Marechek, finishing with 98 points (45G, 53A), good for fifth highest in total League scoring and fourth in total assists as well.
In addition to his indoor lacrosse career, Marechek has also represented his native country of Canada in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Games competition. In 1998 he was bestowed the honor of being named to All-World Team.
"When you're playing for your country, it's much more than a game. You're representing your country and you strive to do your absolute best," Marechek stated.
As for his NLL future, Marechek says that he is in no rush to retire. "I think that I have two or three more years in me," he added, "I will know when it is time to hang it up."