Times-Call (Longmont)

Lightning’s Funk forges own legacy

Mead's Booth to wrestle for girls' title at 140 pounds

- By Alissa Noe anoe@ prairiemou­ntainmedia.com

DENVER >> The last of the Funk line has found his way on Legacy wrestling’s mats, and he’s already doing far better than the four brothers that came before him.

Quinn Funk, now a junior, graced the state stage at Ball Arena’s Class 5A semifinals on Friday night, vying for his chance to compete in the classifica­tion’s 190-pound finals 24 hours later. He secured victory, perhaps the toughest match of his entire season, with a 10-6 decision over Ponderosa’s Westin Hoffschnei­der to secure his spot in the state title match on Saturday.

He’ll go to war with Grandview’s Maxwell Kibbee for golden glory next.

“I knew that if I just kept moving my feet and just not make any stupid mistakes, he would gas out,” Quinn said.

He’s had a lot of help to get him to this point, dating all the way back to his younger days. His father, Mike, a four-time All-american wrestler for Northweste­rn in the 80s, ensured his five sons would get exposure to the sport as early as possible.

They all found an affinity for it and all competed for the Lightning. Three — Nolan, Aidan and Gavin — made the state finals.

But none of them showed the talent for it like Quinn has.

“I’ve been wrestling with him on a semi-regular basis and it’s tough,” Aidan, who graduated in 2018 and competed for Mines, said. “He moves really good for a high schooler. He puts up more of a fight than some college kids I’ve wrestled. His top game’s a lot better. I think there’s a certain pressure that you kind of get from wrestling in college, and he’s already got that as a high schooler.”

And while the talent was always there, Quinn lacked one crucial piece before his third year on the high school scene. Grady, who ended his high school career in 2020 before moving on to Mesa, made sure that changed.

“Starting off, he was a little bit timid,” Grady said. “Me or Aidan would wrestle with him going in and just kind of do our best to, honestly, kind of make him angry a little bit. That way, his aggression would come out just so he could get that going normally in a match.”

That advice — and maybe a little sibling rivalry here and there — helped elevate Quinn to a nearly untouchabl­e 45-3 record a year ahead of when his brothers peaked. In 2022, Gavin secured the silver in the 195-pound weight class.

Quinn credits their technical advice and mental notes to his success. Nolan

Mead’s Ashley Booth ended Fort Lupton Aneesa Chavez’s 140-pound match in 55seconds during the first round of the Class 3A state wrestling championsh­ips on Friday.

(class of 2016) believes this is just the beginning for what he can achieve. Quinn hopes he can break the Funk curse on Saturday night, and finally secure the gold that’s evaded the family for the past seven years.

“I definitely think out of all of us, he has the most talent and so it’s great to see him getting the success

that he deserves,” Nolan said. “Me at his age versus where he is and how good he is, I think it’s night and day. He’s really good.”

One match at a time

The last two times Mead’s Ashley Booth came face-toface with Poudre’s Abbigail Smith, she couldn’t find a way to win. That changed when it mattered most.

On Friday night, Smith once again put up a great fight, but Booth ended her run to the title bout once and for all with a pin in the final 52 seconds of the 140-pound semifinal match. Now, Booth will get her chance to battle for gold against Chatfield’s Ryen Hickey.

“It’s really amazing. I would say it boosted (my confidence) a lot but it also felt great. I hadn’t beaten her once since the entire time I’ve known Abby,” Booth said. “It’s mind over matter, I’d say. I just had to get over that hurdle and now it’s just another one. It’s just keep going.”

Injury? What injury?

Broomfield junior Samantha White battled much of her season through injury, but no one would know that if they watched her wrestle in the state tournament this week.

In her first two matches of the only girls’ division, White made quick work of her opponents with thirdand second-period pins, only to face her toughest match of the season in the 130-pound semifinals.

Pomona’s Timberly Martinez, who remained undefeated through Friday night’s semis, ended White’s run to the title match with a pin in the first period.

“My head bounced off the mat kind of hard,” White said. “I think I’ll be better, because I know that that’s probably the hardest I’ll face. I’ll be a little angry about it, so I think it’ll be nice.”

Early into her season, White broke her thumb and was forced to miss two weeks to recuperate. She came back and immediatel­y won her first tournament.

“I was kind of surprised,” she said.

Now, she’ll get her shot at third place, and hopes her matches moving forward will be a little easier. She believes she’ll steal that bronze.

Ben Kotwica, right, with Washington in 2014, has reportedly been hired as the next Broncos special teams coach.

 ?? PHOTOS BY ALISSA NOE — BOCOPREPS.COM ?? Legacy’s Quinn Funk, left, secured his spot in the Class 5A state title match with a 10-6 win over Ponderosa’s Westin Hoffschnei­der during the state semifinals at Ball Arena.
PHOTOS BY ALISSA NOE — BOCOPREPS.COM Legacy’s Quinn Funk, left, secured his spot in the Class 5A state title match with a 10-6 win over Ponderosa’s Westin Hoffschnei­der during the state semifinals at Ball Arena.
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