Athlete Spotlight: Francesco Borsellino

i-rkkWCPL-LFrancesco Borsellino ’18 is a star widely known both on and off of campus. Already having a decorated wrestling career in the state of Ohio, Borsellino brought his talents to Hudson where he is finding a way to leave his legacy among the numerous Western Reserve Academy wrestling greats in the program’s history. Borsellino started wrestling in 8th grade at Sandy Valley Middle School in Magnolia. “I joined the wrestling team because my best friend wanted to do it,” recalled Borsellino. “Afterwards, I found that I was good at the sport, so I continued with it.” Indeed, his athletic aptitude has only continued to grow his interests in wrestling. At Sandy Valley, Borsellino performed outstandingly well, which caught the eyes of his coaches. With the support of his trainers, friends, and family, he rose to become one of the top wrestlers in his school. By the end of his sophomore year, Borsellino was competitively wrestling in districts meets. This was a high point of his wrestling career, and he only rose from there.

During his junior year, Borsellino stood at the top of his school and outranked many of his teammates. There was little competition during practices, thus, the school started sending him to other schools, where he could train with kids at his level. With hard work and the right mindset, Borsellino continued to ascend in the wrestling ranks. He triumphed shortly after when he remarkably pinned down the previous year’s state champion, Chance Veller.

Borsellino’s phenomenal journey didn’t stop as he had his biggest breakthrough, earning the official title of “state champion” by the end of the 2017 season. This came after his last and most challenging competitor of the year, Devin Smith, who held a record of 58-0 compared to Borsellino’s 17-0. However, that did not intimidate him, and he took up his ultimate challenge that ended in success. “I was very proud of myself,” explained Borsellino, “and I am glad to be the first in my school to hold such a title. I think only there were only two kids that finished as runners-up.”

After his senior year, Borsellino decided to head to WRA for one final year of high school. The reason being, he remarked, “is that [he] wanted to go to a prep school, away from [his] family, so [he] could have a good transition into college next year.” When asked if there is any person who he looks up to or motivates him to continue wrestling, he noted Ohio State University wrestler Kyle Snyder as his inspiration to keep working hard. An instance when this motivation was needed was when he suffered a knee injury during football season, which he did not be fully recover from nine months later. Borsellino persevered, and to everyone’s amazement, he recovered in time for wrestling season. He has truly shown his persistence and passion through his accomplishments.

Borsellino also stated that he will be wrestling in college. However, he is still unsure about which college he will be attending. Nevertheless, he continues to work hard in order to further improve his skills while also motivating other WRA wrestlers to do the same. “He is a priceless member of our wrestling community,” remarked Daniil Leis ’19, a first-year wrestler at WRA. “He always gives us good advice from his experience.” Thus far, he holds a perfect record while at WRA and proudly ranks at the top of the “heavyweight” class. His advice not only to wrestlers but other athletes as well is to “just keep pushing hard and moving forward, no matter the obstacles that stand in your way.”

– Tien Nguyen ’19

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