“It’s a family sport.”
Head coach Mike Thompson isn’t surprised that his Legacy program currently holds three different families who’ve had multiple sons wrestle for the Lightning.
Junior Quinn Funk watched his four older brothers come through the program, senior Ryan Bynarowicz succeeded his older brother, Jason, and the Joiner family has two currently in the program — Jaxson and Brennon — and another pair who recently graduated. All told, the three families have produced 11 Legacy wrestlers.
“We’ve been connected for a while going through relatives,” Bynarowicz said. “We’ve all had brothers that have wrestled with each other through school and all that. We’ve been like a family for a while.”
Five of the seven who’ve graduated went on to wrestle in college, too. In the Funk family, Nolan and Aiden wrestled at the Colorado School of Mines, Gavin at San Francisco State and Grady at Colorado Mesa University, along with the elder Bynarowicz.
The best part about having four older brothers? Easy access to coaching.
“My brothers have really helped me out a lot because they come in and they wrestle with me, which has really just helped me to get better and grow throughout the years,” Quinn said. “It has really helped me improve.”
Both Ryan Bynarowicz and Brennon Joiner agreed that they’ve had similar relationships with their brothers.
“He’s who got me into wrestling, really,” Ryan Bynarowicz said of his older brother Jason. “He goes to help me, tries to help me teach, tries to just make me better, same with Quinn. He’ll come in over break or anytime he’s home and he’ll beat me up.”
In the Joiner family, the eldest Trevor graduated in 2018 and Joey, a two-time state finalist, graduated in 2020 and chose soccer over wrestling at Colorado Mesa. Brennan Joiner is now entering his junior season with his freshman younger brother Jaxson about to begin his own Legacy legacy.
“With our relationship, it kind of brings us closer because I can teach him what I know, and I think it helps him a lot,” Brennan said of his relationship with Jaxson. “I expect big things out of him just because our older brother, Joey, did really good. The expectations that we have for all of each other just keep getting higher and higher each year.”
From Thompson’s perspective, he has been impressed by both the talent stemming from the three families and by the impact they’ve had on the program. Thompson said that both fathers Mike Funk and Tim Joiner were “instrumental” in kickstarting Legacy’s youth feeder program, Boltz Wrestling, nearly 10 years ago.
Beginning with their time in Boltz, Thompson takes pride in how Brennon, Quinn and Ryan have developed into what he hopes to be state-finalist wrestlers this season.
“All three of those kids, (when) they came into our program, they weren’t kids that were necessarily state champions as freshmen, but now they’re potentially on the podium this year,” Thompson said. “They grew through the program from the Boltz up through the high school.”
Legacy opened its season at Prairie View on Wednesday.