After winning county title, Franklin Regional wrestler Juliano Marion wants more

Saturday, January 14, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Franklin Regional junior Juliano Marion captured his second Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association wrestling title on Jan. 6, and now he has his eye on becoming the next three-time county champion.

Marion (15-3) was one of two Panthers to claim county title at Greensburg Salem.

The other was senior Gavyn Beck (18-3), who won the 160-pound title. Marion was the 189-pound winner.

Franklin Regional finished second to Latrobe in the team standings. The Wildcats had 219 points and the Panthers 197. Hempfield was third with 195.5.

The Panthers had nine placewinners.

Placing second were junior Tyler Kapusta (114) and senior Nate Stone (139).

Other placewinners were Dom Colaizzi (fourth at 127), Justin Bass (fourth at 133), Roman Colangelo (fourth at 152), Luke Ankney (sixth at 145) and Troy McClelland (sixth at 215).

The Panthers, who are No. 7 in the Trib HSSN Class 3A team rankings, defeated rival Penn-Trafford, 41-28, in a Section 3 (3A) first-place showdown Jan. 11.

Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe was pleased with how his team performed at the county tournament and then against Penn-Trafford, where the Panthers built a 30-0 lead.

“I knew it would be a close match,” Lebe said. “We had wrestlers who stepped up and got us bonus points. We also had guys not give up bonus points.

“We were bumping guys up no matter what because we wanted a matchup between Gavyn and Tasso (Whipple), two (Westmoreland) county champions. Gavyn was excited about the move and did what we asked.

“It was a great team effort coming off a great effort at the county tournament. The team did what we asked them to do.”

Marion dominated Kiski Area freshman Cooper Roscosky in the WCCA finals, 5-0. He had a pin against Penn-Trafford on Wednesday.

“I’m already looking forward to winning a third title,” Marion said. “I felt I wrestled well, but I know there is still room for improvement.”

Marion finished sixth in the PIAA in 2022. He wants to return to the state tournament, and the goal is to climb up the podium.

“I don’t want to be like everyone else, but the goal is to be a state champion,” he said. “I know what it takes to compete in the state tournament.”

Lebe said he has high hopes for his wrestlers as they pursue gold medals.

To prepare them for later in the season, the Panthers were scheduled to compete at Mid-Winter Mayhem at IUP on Jan. 13-14.The Panthers also had another first-place showdown scheduled for Jan. 18 against Norwin.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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