The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Mariscal Twins Teach Before Students, Referee Before Thousands

Students entered Calc 3, a college-level math course offered by MiraCosta at Sage Creek, unsure what to expect. The previous teacher’s absence voided most advice from upperclassmen. For all they knew, the new teacher would be cold and brisk, hurtling through lessons whether they understood the content or not. And this was a college course.

Dressed in a suit, Mr. Apolinar “Polo” Mariscal greeted them and began teaching. The next day,  they learned he was their substitute teacher, yet beside Calc 3 on their course lists, “Mariscal” was listed. The discrepancy between what the schedule read and what Mr. Mariscal said ignored a simple solution: Their substitute and permanent teachers were brothers.

Photo Taken From
Eduardo referees in for Major League Soccer and FIFA. “I’m a professional assistant referee, so that means that my position is always on the sideline,” Eduardo said.

Twins Eduardo and Polo Mariscal both teach math courses at MiraCosta Community College, both wear dress clothes, both share cadences and facial expressions, both interject dialogue into their stories, and both serve as referees for Major League Soccer.

“I’m a professional assistant referee, so that means that my position is always on the sideline,” Eduardo said. “Assistant referee in mainly offsides, fouls near my area, or any other thing that [the referee] needs inside the field.”

For Shea Hinojosa, a senior in Eduardo’s class and player on varsity soccer, the revelation caught him off guard. “That was the most hype thing I ever heard from a math teacher, ever. I was just blown away. I looked him up on the internet, saw him running along the sidelines besides my favorite player on Manchester United.”

Eduardo’s career as a referee began before most of his Sage Creek students were born. After a year playing JV soccer, he joined cross country to train and discovered that he enjoyed running more than playing soccer. Today, he runs as a member of the Prado Racing team, and he and Polo run together most days of the week.

“It became a running family,” he said. 

His older siblings, Alejandro and Felisha (who both also referee), won scholarships running, and Alejandro became the first sibling to referee. When he was 17, Eduardo’s mom, a single parent, requested his help with the household. “She said, ‘Either get a job at Jack in the Box or become a referee like your brother,’” Eduardo said. He chose to referee.

When the Mariscal twins recounted that story, they both told it near-identically. “My mom being a single parent,” Polo said, “we needed to help out, so we found that by refereeing we had a flexible schedule where that wouldn’t interfere with our education, which was an important part for my mom for us to maintain.”

Photo Taken From
Eduardo poses for his official photo on a refereeing website. His first game is listed in 2014.

“Refereeing seemed like a very flexible job,” Eduardo said, “where we can go do refereeing whenever we can [and] still focus on school because we wanted to keep pursuing our degree in college.”

Along with refereeing in high school, Eduardo unofficially taught mathematics, a class he did well in. He used his understanding of the subject to help classmates and unearthed a joy for helping others that motivated him to pursue his career as a math teacher. “Once I got my masters, I was like, ‘Oh, well, I would like to teach, to give a little back.’ Hopefully make a difference in the students, inspire them to enjoy math.”

Helping others goes beyond the classroom. For the Mariscal twins, it’s an asset that helps them connect.

“We understand each other, help each other a lot,” Polo said. “Especially when things get hard, and we have someone to understand us and will be able to give us some guidance. We can get each other to say, ‘Well, okay, here you’re not doing well. You can do this.’ And so it gives us a different perspective without feeling too personal and being attacked, because we know that we have each other’s back and we know that it’s for our best.”

“Having a family that knows what’s going on, the stress that you go through, the pressure, it actually brings a relief,” Eduardo said. “Sometimes if you don’t have that, sometimes you feel like, ‘Oh, well, I feel alone.’ But you have your family there which is always going to be supporting you and understanding you.”

Eduardo’s supportiveness extends to Sage Creek, where he arrives thirty minutes early to ensure that he’s available should students need help understanding a homework problem or reviewing for a test — far from the longshot fears of a cold and brisk professor.

“I like to think that when I do something, it’s hopefully helping somebody else,” Eduardo said. “I try to help somebody. Makes me feel good. I guess it’s a reciprocal thing, you know? Help them, it helps me feel better.”

View Comments (1)

Comments (1)

The Sage intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Sage does not allow anonymous comments, and The Sage requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Sage Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • J

    Juan MariscalJan 8, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Interestung story I’m a mariscal.what part of Mexico are your parents from? We are looking for my grandpa’s kids that were twins..he was from Sonora but spent time in Chihuahua.