Newton’s Treaster looks to join father as 4-time champ

Newton senior Nick Treaster is looking for his fourth state championship at the Class 5A State Tournament Feb. 24 and 25 in Park City.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 11:45 AM CST
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NEWTON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - In the 1980s, the Treaster family pipeline was already establishing its name on the wrestling mats of Kansas.

After two older brothers went through the program in Beloit, Matt Treaster came along and made history. He was a four-time state champion, becoming just the third wrestler to do so in Kansas history.

He remembers every detail and feeling of chasing his fourth title.

“I can remember the match itself, the lead up to it. I had been sick that week, so it put just that much more pressure on me,” Matt said. “I can just remember the sense of relief when the match was finally over and I was done and it was behind me. You’re just a bundle of nerves.”

His younger brother was also a state champion. At that time, Matt was at the Naval Academy where he became an All-American on his way to a 2019 induction in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

The came Matt’s time to share his love for the sport.

“The boys came along and all seemed to show an interest in it, so I did my best to try and pass it on to them,” Matt said. “All these years later, three of them have been able to wrestle here at the high school.”

His oldest son, Logan, was a state champion at Newton before going on to the Navy, and he now helps coach the Railers. Grant was a two-time champion and is currently at the Naval Academy.

His daughter, Brookelyn, is currently an eighth-grader with a high school future on the horizons.

But his youngest son, Nick, has one more weekend to make history before following the family’s roots to the Navy himself.

“They would go downstairs and do this pretend matches. They would wrestle and wrestle and wrestle,” Matt said of his sons. “Grant was way bigger, and they would play wrestle. Grant would come upstairs and say Nick beat me 42-41, that kind of thing.”

That practice molded Nick into a three-time champion, with the chance to claim at fourth this weekend at the KSHSAA Wrestling Championships.

“I used to go and watch my brothers wrestle all the time at tournaments. I would even bring a black singlet that was too big for me, but I’d wear jeans over the top. I’d walk around the tournament and just couldn’t wait to wrestle myself,” Nick said.

If Nick is able to claim a state championship for the fourth time this weekend, it is believed they would only be the fifth father-son duo in the history of wrestling in the USA to each claim clean sweeps.

“He’s got a unique combination of attributes,” Matt said of Nick. “He’s very talented, much more than I was. He’s very fast, strong. He’s got a good feel, great hips on the mat. He’s been good since he was a little bitty kid. He’s got the right genes I guess.”

Since winning his first state title in 2020 while battling illness, Nick has used a mindset to overcome every obstacle in his way.

“I’ve always told myself that no matter what the scenario is, you’ve gotta find a way to win. That’s kinda what I’ve been doing the rest of the time since,” Nick said.

While Matt said he will play the role of “nervous dad” in the stands, Nick goes into the weekend not worried about history, but instead focused on making steps ahead of his college career.

“I see it as a stepping stone. I wanna be a national champ when I’m in college. I wanna reach some great heights. Getting a fourth state title, that’s just a stepping stone to the great things I wanna climb, the ladders I wanna achieve. At the end of the day, of course I want another state title,” Nick said.

“There’s not many people who can say they’ve done that. It’d be pretty special to be able to share that with my dad.”

And the outcome of this weekend won’t change Matt’s feelings.

“We try not to talk about it. It’s like that elephant in the room we just let be. He’s known it’s there and I know what he’s going through,” Matt said. “If he does, I’ll be the proudest father in the world.

“That’s the real wish I have for him - that he can take this and use it as a stepping stone to move on into college and have success there as well.”