Redmen wrestling

Atchison seniors Nick Funk and Jayden Watkins warm up before practice.  

Redmen wrestling is kicking off fall workouts in preparation for the upcoming season, boosted by experienced competitors who qualified for state last year.

Jacob Rebant and Jaden Watkins will wrestle again under Head Coach Ed Crouse, who considers both players to have natural talent as they continue to progress in their high school careers.

“They will probably move up a weight class,” Crouse said. “I can foresee great seasons for both of them.”

The Redmen also welcome back two senior heavyweights, Nick Funk, and Brent Clary. Archer Willis is also returning, and will wrestle at 113 pounds. Crouse praised Willis for his dedication to the program.

“He’s been spending a lot of time in the weight room,” Crouse said. “He’s been conditioning, and really doing well in camp, so I think he’s going to be a real asset for us.”

Crouse also mentioned a unique situation with Funk and Clary.

“We have what I would consider two of the best heavyweights in the area, Nick Funk and Brent Clary,” Crouse said. “Both are seniors, but only one can make regional and state ...

“They compete against each other. Brent comes in every day working his tail off, knowing that if he doesn’t beat Nick in a wrestle off, he’s going to be junior varsity, and not get the end opportunity. He could be Varsity for anybody else, I think he is that good. He’s a big strong kid with great knowledge, and a great heart.”

The Redmen move forward with conditioning and weights in order to meat weight class goals. Crouse said that he plans to get at least one of his wrestlers to a state match, and possibly more.

“Nick Funk narrowly missed state last year,” Crouse said. “Our hope is to not only get him to state but hopefully get him up on a podium.”

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