Triple threat: Junior excels in school, sports, community service


By Sosi Sengal, Staff Reporter

A busy schedule is nothing new for junior Marisa Francione, with a day full of advanced classes, double practices and community service. But that’s not all. She also plays three varsity sports: soccer, basketball and softball.

Francione started playing sports in elementary school and has not looked back since. Her main sport is basketball, and as a captain for the 2022-23 season, she led the team into the first round of the PIAA District 1 States Championship, finishing with a record of 21-8. She often participates in community service clinics to help introduce younger athletes to sports with the softball team. Outside of athletics, Francione is also a part of Conestoga’s National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Conestoga sports often present high school athletes with volunteer opportunities that introduce sports to younger athletes. Challenger’s Day was an event last year to help children with disabilities become interested in softball and baseball. Francione participates in these opportunities to give back to the community.

“Through my Conestoga sports teams we’ve done a bunch of volunteer work,” Francione said. “With each of my sports, we do clinics to help younger kids and they get to see what it’s like to be on varsity teams.”

With the help of the people around her, Francione is able to handle all of her work, especially with the guidance of one of her mentors, girls’ varsity basketball coach Arnold Thompson.

“I know Marisa is very busy playing multiple sports and is a serious student in the classroom as well,” Thompson said. “I just try to talk to her about how things are going and be a sounding board for her if she needs someone to listen.”

Girls varsity soccer coach Deane Mariotti agrees with how communication helps Francione.

“We as a team encourage all our players to have open lines of communication with the coaches,” Mariotti said. “She communicates really well, she does a good job of balancing and communicating (her work), and she works relentlessly with the team.”

Along with the help she receives from her coaches, her parents are also a big part of her success as together, they manage the workload. With long nights full of homework and double practices, she manages it all, according to Mariotti.

“My parents help me a lot. That’s how I manage a lot of things too,” Francione said. “We come up with a schedule on where I have to be, exact times and everything.”

With all the things she must handle, Francione’s time management comes into play. Her drive and love for the things she does fuel her to carry it all. In the future, Francione hopes to pursue basketball in college. Her communication, management skills and athletic talent makes her both a valued teammate and student, according to Thompson.

“I have been saying all season long that Marisa is the engine that makes our team go,” Thompson said. “She is the type of player that every coach hopes to have on their team.”

Sosi Sengal can be reached at [email protected].