County wrestling title boosts confidence of Franklin Regional sophomore Juliano Marion

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Saturday, January 15, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Don’t look now, but Franklin Regional sophomore Juliano Marion is starting to get noticed.

Marion opened eyes by winning the 189-pound weight class at the 69th Annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association meet Jan. 8.

He defeated Penn-Trafford’s Owen Ott, 3-2, in the finals. He also pinned Norwin’s Aiden Yuscinsky and Derry’s Nathan Barkley and edged Burrell’s Cole Clark, 5-2, in the semifinals.

Marion (18-4) is now ranked No. 3 in the TribHSSN Class 3A rankings behind Mt. Lebanon senior Mac Stout and Thomas Jefferson senior Brendan Finnerty.

“It was definitely a big leap for me,” Marion said. “I don’t think I had the hardest bracket, and I feel I could have wrestled better. It was definitely a first step to hopefully a lot more wins throughout my career. I still have two more years of high school, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Marion went into the county tournament with a lot of confidence.

“As soon as I saw the bracket come out, I knew I was not going to let myself lose,” Marion said. “I wanted to go out and win it. I was a little disappointed that I got the two seed because I felt I deserved the No. 1 seed. But I proved I was worthy of the No. 1 seed.”

Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe said he had all the faith that Marion would do well. He’s expecting big things from him.

“I believe that winning the county title will help his confidence tremendously,” Lebe said. “He’s very talented, and we try to challenge him a lot. It was huge for his confidence and his continual belief to know that he has the potential to do great things.”

Last year, Marion finished third in Section 1 with a 23-9 record. The expectations are a lot higher this season.

“He just needs to keep working hard,” Lebe said. “He’s just a sophomore, and he needs to continue to work at an elite level and be consistent.

“He’s a very hard worker, and he does the right things, and that’s the kind of things we preach. We just have to make sure he continues to work at an elite level. His skills are very good and he’s talented.”

If Marion wants to learn how to be a state champion, all he has to do is look across the room and watch what Finn Solomon does.

Solomon is a returning PIAA champ. He placed second in 2019.

“Finn is an unbelievable leader,” Lebe said. “He’s one of our great leaders that have come through this program. That’s important for him to learn from Finn. (Marion) certainly works at a high level himself. It’s always good to have the leadership in the room.”

Marion said he hasn’t adjusted his goals after winning the county tournament.

“My plan is to make the state tournament,” Marion said. “Hopefully, I can come through.”

With his renewed confidence and work ethic, he gives himself a chance to succeed.

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 pschofield@triblive.com.

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