Friday, July 5, 2024

Windham graduate Marion to play soccer for Saint Joseph’s College

By Matt Pascarella

Windham graduate Nick Marion started playing soccer at age five; it was his grandmother who helped him choose this sport. He first tried T-ball and didn’t like it, so he began playing soccer. He was instantly in love with the game and likes playing as much as possible. Marion scored 33 goals this year, which is the second-best season-goal record in Class A history.  In the fall, he will attend Saint Joseph’s College where he will major in political science, while also playing soccer. Marion would like to go to law school after college.

Windham High graduate Nick Marion, center,
is joined by his mother Lisa O'Reilly and
stepfather Kevin O'Reilly after signing a
letter of intent to attend Saint Joseph's
College where he will play soccer. 
“Not everyone gets this opportunity,” said Marion. “I feel honored and blessed to be able to keep playing. I’m very thankful to my family and friends who helped me get here.”

In addition to this achievement, the United Soccer Coaches chose Marion as 2023 Fall Boys High School All-America Team – Windham High School’s first All-American player. Three students were picked from Maine to receive this honor and Marion was one of them; he thanks his family and teammates for being able to accomplish this.

This year, Marion was Offensive Player of the Year for the Southern Maine Activities Association, Portland Press Player of the Year and Class A Player of the Year, just to name a few of his accolades.

“He’s going to bring a lot to Saint Joseph’s College,” said Windham graduate and teammate Owen Dakin who will be attending University of Maine Farmington in the fall. “He’ll be passionate with the team, bring a lot of team chemistry and bring the team together. Just all around-great athlete; he’s great in school, I bet he’ll be helping his classmates with work. He’s always that nice person, you can go to him with anything. He just wanted the [Windham] team to be the best they could, and he pretty much did whatever he could to make them better. It’s really great to see.”

Marion chose Saint Joseph’s College because he loved the school, he liked the location, and he liked the soccer team. It had everything he was looking for.

Throughout his athletic career, Windham Athletics taught him a lot that he’ll be able to bring with him when he plays collegiately; one thing is perseverance. Although during his time on Windham’s varsity boys’ soccer team they never won a state championship, they learned something every year which they could carry forward to the next season to make that season more successful. Not giving up made them stronger players.

“So well deserved for you; everything that I think you want in a student athlete, Nick exemplifies,” said Windham varsity boys’ soccer coach Jeff Neal. “Tireless worker, fierce competitor, but his humility is one of his greatest traits – and something that is totally admirable. He is a young man that doesn’t like to be on the sidelines; loves the opportunity to be useful and helpful in any way that he could. When you take him off the pitch, he is so quick to deflect the praise on his teammates and he did it all season long, he did that with the press ... which is a hard thing for a young man to do; you represented yourself well you came across as a class act, which is no surprise to me. The other thing I asked of Nick was could he come and do stuff with the younger players in the community and he always did. That role model for younger players is huge.”

If there is one piece of advice Marion would like to pass down to underclassmen, or anyone looking to accomplish what he has, it’s to believe in yourself – everyone can work hard if they want to, and good things will come from that.

Marion would like to thank Coach Neal, Coach Dubay, Coach Hodge, Coach Graves, Saint Joseph’s College mens’ soccer Coach Pike, and his family and friends. They have all been instrumental in his success. <

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