The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School


The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School


The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School


Coach Marchello Leads New Era for Warrior Wrestling

Clarion photo Ollie Raboteau
Coach Rustin Marchello, the new wrestling coach

After 33 seasons as the coach of Cleveland’s wrestling team, coach Jeff Zerba retired after last season. Under Zerba, Cleveland wrestling became one of the most successful teams at the school, winning 12 consecutive district championships from 2011 to 2023. A new coach, Rustin Marchello, comes in to continue the legacy of Zerba and sustain success.

Coach Marchello has been wrestling competitively for over 20 years. He began wrestling when he was 10, placing three times at state in Nevada during high school. He competed as a national team member for Nevada, before continuing wrestling at Muskingum University in Ohio at the Division III level. Marchello would later transfer to Adams State University in Colorado where he would finish his collegiate wrestling career. Marchello continues to wrestle in the veterans division, even winning a national title. In 2015, he competed in Greece at the veterans wrestling world championship where he placed seventh.

Marchello and Zerba had a close relationship before Marchello took the job at Cleveland, which influenced his decision to succeed Zerba.

“When I was coaching at Benson, he contacted me with an offer that I couldn’t refuse, to take over the program here,” said Marchello.

Marchello said that his first year as coach of Cleveland has been going well.

“The season’s been good so far, kids are working hard. We had our first tournament and we’re looking forward to our next one,” said Marchello. He emphasized that having a close relationship with coach Zerba and Cleveland staff has been helping with the transition.

“He’s been my new best friend,” stated Marchello. “He calls me quite often, and we’ll go over scenarios, options, etc. We differ sometimes, which makes it great. He’s still a part of the program as kind of like a director of operations. He helps with the calendar and schedule, and keeps me on top of things that are coming up.”

Some wrestlers Marchello was excited to coach this season included senior Connor Smeller, juniors Zion Idica and Max Copus, sophomore Luke Byhre, and freshman Stewart Bromwell. Marchello wanted to continue the success from Zerba’s final year.

“The goal is to continue where we left off and win PIL, and qualify as many kids as possible and put up as many state placers as possible,” Marchello said.

Cleveland has a meet at Roosevelt on Dec. 11 before winter break. Show up and support Coach Marchello and the Warriors.

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About the Contributor
Rio Madrone
Rio Madrone, Sports Editor
My name is Rio Madrone and I am a junior at Cleveland. This is my 2nd year on the Clarion, and I work as the editor for the sports section. I enjoy watching sports and listening to music!

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