By David Krueger Herald Writer
All Killian Page knows is that he wants to play a sport for a college once he graduates from Marysville Pilchuck High School.
What sport he takes on — and where — are still to be determined.
The Tomahawks’ two-sport star said he hopes to play football or wrestle at a university. Ultimately, it will come down to which sport gets him the best opportunity after the senior-to-be graduates.
“My goal is really — I’d love to have crazy, talented stats — but I want to help my parents out and get a scholarship so I can go to college,” Page said. “I just want to play.”
Page has dedicated time to both football and wrestling this summer. After school got out in mid-June, the Tomahawks wrestlers went to their annual camp, this year held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The camp, which ran from June 21st through the 25th at North Idaho College, provided an opportunity for team bonding, as well as improving on the mat.
“It really does help the chemistry bringing some of our senior guys like Killian over to wrestle with some of our younger guys,” Marysville Pilchuck wresting coach Craig Iversen said. “It’s wonderful when you have that level of athlete that’s also open to his coach. … Killian’s been a great one to have in the room and we’ve enjoyed his time at MP.”
There aren’t many better examples for the young Tomahawks than Page, who has been to the state wrestling tournament each of his three seasons. He got back-to-back second-place finishes at 160-pounds and 145-pounds in 2014 and 2013, respectively, after placing sixth in the 126-pound weight class as a freshman.
“He is a phenomenal athlete,” Iversen said. “Size might come in and what he chooses to do, but athletically he can hang at the elite level. I think he’ll have some pretty fun choices to be looking at.”
Those choices might come because Page’s athleticism also translates to the football field.
Along with running backs Austin Joyner, Hunter Trueax and J.J. Valencia, Page helped bolster a successful ground game for the Tomahawks, who in 2013 advanced to the 3A state quarterfinals for the second consecutive time.
Page wound up being named a second-team All-Wesco 3A North selection at running back after his junior campaign.
“He really stepped in halfway through the season at fullback and had an incredible year,” Marysville Pilchuck football coach Brandon Carson said. “He’s a really talented athlete. He’s got great speed, and I think this has to do with wrestling. He has body awareness and body control.
“When people are trying to tackle him he understands leverage and how to break out of tackles. He makes really good moves. I’m like, ‘How’d he get out of that tackle?’”
Carson, Iversen and Page agree that the football and wrestling complement each other well. Along with teammate Drew Hatch, another strong wrestler and football player for Marysville Pilchuck, Page looks to continue to make an impact in both sports his senior year.
“I think they’re good, transferable sports,” Carson said. “There’s a toughness factor that you could put into the equation. Killian and Drew are both outstanding wrestlers and they’re tough kids. They make for good tacklers.”
Said Iversen: “I think they complement each other. I think both require a tremendous amount of work in the offseason and I think both help the competitiveness of the athlete. I think it helps in wrestling that he’s seen success in the field. It’s always better when an athlete is doing another sport.”
Whether he’s on the gridiron or the mat, Page always gives his best effort. He’s also enjoying himself.
“He’s such a fun-loving kid,” Carson said. “He’s high energy and always bouncing around in whatever he’s involved in. It looks like he’s all in and he loves it to death. He’s one of those players that you like to be around. He’s fun to be around. He exudes a passion for the game and always has a smile on his face. He looks like he’s having a lot of fun out there.”
Page also can be counted on to step up and help guide younger players.
“He’s pretty vocal,” Iversen said. “But you notice when he’s in the room. Not just athletically. He’s got a great sense of humor and he lightens things up. It’s always nice when you have someone with that personality to help at that level.”
Which sport does he like best? Football, or wrestling? A tough question for page, who said he favors football ever so slightly. He likes the two sports for different reasons — and a very similar one.
“I like the competition in both,” Page said. “In football, I like that there’s a team and you can rely on people to have your back. I really just love the game. The thing with wrestling is you have a lot of really good times with your team. You’re just not relying on them, I guess. You get good balance in wrestling which helps with football. In football, getting hit makes you more tough and makes it easier to wrestle.”
His goal is the same for both sports: “I want to win state.”
Lately, Page has spent four mornings a week lifting weights with the Marysville Pilchuck football team. He also heads to Seattle three times a week to work on speed training with a private instructor. He’s hoping to once again make an impression on the football field and draw some recruiting interest while doing it.
Carson doesn’t think it will be a problem.
“I bet you he’s getting some attention wrestling-wise,” Carson said. “He’s definitely a kid I think could play football in college. I could see him wrestling, too. He could do one or the other. Or both.”