DENVER — Just as he planned the first few seconds of it in his mind, Legacy senior wrestler Aidan Funk was the aggressor in his 5A 170-pound state championship match late Saturday night at the Pepsi Center.
But when he didn't draw first blood against Adam City's Christian Rowell, playing a "battle-back" scenario through his mind was not something he was quite ready for.
Rowell was able to score a five-point sequence in the second period as part of a 9-6 victory for the Eagles senior, and Funk was left to wonder what went wrong in that decisive 20-second span of time.
Finishing 39-9 and adding to the Funk family legacy is something that may register in a few days, but it wasn't going to happen right away.
"I don't have much to say, really," Funk managed after fighting through tears under the bowels of the stadium. "It's just tough to swallow."
For Legacy head coach Mike Thompson, the journey for Funk was one that brought pride and a smile on his face.
"Both academically and athletically, he's just a great kid and this is definitely not going to be the highlight of his wrestling career because he's got a lot of college wrestling to look forward to," Thompson said. "He's just starting, really."
Funk was tied 2-2 in the second period with Rowell and then was just one move away from getting a lead, but Rowell was able to get back on his feet and turn Funk onto his back with a cradle — almost ending it at that point.
Funk has dealt with a right knee issue all season and had to have that addressed between the second and third periods, and he came back strong with two takedowns. It was just too late.
"I tweaked my knee a little bit and ended up getting cradled because of it," Funk said. "But he's a good kid and I have a lot of respect for him."
Funk finished the season with a 39-9 record.