The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

October 23, 2013

Marion closing out strong with Concord football team

By Steve Keenan
Sports Editor

ATHENS — Davon Marion is ending up his time as a Mountain Lion with a flourish.

Marion, a 5-foot-11, 212-pound senior defensive back at Concord University, is making major contributions to the Concord defense in the Lions’ first year in the Mountain East Conference.

The former Mount Hope High standout registered an interception in Concord’s 49-21 homecoming win over West Virginia Wesleyan last Saturday. It was his fourth pick of the season and second is as many games.

Shaw’s Darnell Evans has eight interceptions, best in the NCAA Division II ranks. Marion joins a host of other players tied for fifth in the interception totals.

In his three-year career at Concord (he did not play in 2011), Marion has compiled 184 total tackles (117 solo, 67 assists), in addition to registering 11 tackles for loss and nine interceptions.

“He makes the plays all good players make; every person can see that on Saturday,” Concord coach Garin Justice says of Marion.

Perhaps more importantly, Justice says Marion provides solid leadership for the Mountain Lions.

“When he speaks, everyone listens,” said Justice. “They see how he (has responded to highs and lows in his life).”

Soldiering on through various adversities, such as injuries and dealing with off-field issues, has gained Marion “a lot of respect in the locker room,” Justice stressed. Being a player with such “good character” makes it easy for his teammates to follow and look up to Marion, said the coach.

After his stellar career at Mount Hope, Marion spent a redshirt year at WVU as a member of the Mountaineer football team. “I practiced, I lifted, I did everything but travel,” he said. He departed Morgantown, Marion said, because of “a bunch of little factors.”

“I’m glad I transferred and I chose Concord,” he continued. The coaching staff “welcomed me in with open arms,” and “I met a few guys I’ll be friends with for life.”

The move also helped him academically, he said, and he’s happy to be achieving success on the field.

Other Fayette County players on the Concord roster this fall include Marion’s younger brother, Deon, a freshman wide receiver. Also in the Mountain Lion program are Meadow Bridge’s Jennings Berry, Oak Hill’s Marcus Walker and Mount Hope’s Sean Bunting.

“In high school (Mount Hope) I played with my older brother Desmond Newsom. That was a real good experience,” said Marion. Seeing Deon at Concord has been a great experience, too, Davon said.

“He’s learning, growing, becoming more mature,” he said of Deon. “It’s real good having him down here.

“He’s loving it. If he’s happy, I’m happy.”

Growing up in the Oak Hill Midget League, Marion said, he harbored dreams of playing professionally. That hasn’t changed, as he’d still like to explore post-collegiate playing options.

But, he and his teammates now have their attention focused on finishing the regular season strong.

“Every team comes into the fall thinking championship, that’s just football,” says Marion, 22, who expects to graduate in May with a sports management degree.

“We have to prepare the right way every week ... and not overlook anyone,” said Justice. Above all, Justice says, the Lions “have to play with a grit, a certain level of tenacity.” Many teams these days don’t seem to want to do that, he said.

Concord (5-2 overall, 4-1 MEC) continues its quest with a key league game at the University of Charleston at 1 p.m. this Saturday.

The Golden Eagles (4-3, 4-1) defeated West Virginia State 31-9 last Saturday.

After its battle with UC, Concord closes the regular season with MEC contests against UVA-Wise (home, Nov. 2), Notre Dame (Ohio) College (away, Nov. 9) and league-leading Shepherd (home, Nov. 16).

— E-mail: skeenan@register-herald.com