Treaster family legacy rolls on in Kansas; Tournament of Champions

Updated: February 3, 2023

Photos: Matt Treaster (left) was an All-American for Navy in 1987 and all of sons have attended the the Naval Academy, including Grant (middle) and Nick (right), who will be shooting for a fourth Kansas state title in February.

By Patrick Kelly

The Treaster name has been a constant on the Kansas wrestling landscape for decades. Matt graduated from Beloit High School in 1984 with four state titles. He went on to earn All-American honors at the 1987 NCAA tournament at 126 pounds while representing the Naval Academy. 

Matt he had an outstanding NCAA tournament in 1987, his second Nationals, when he reached the semifinals and finished in fifth place. An injury prevented him from completing his senior season in 1988, but he was ranked as high as fourth nationally during the season.

After graduating from the Naval Academy, he went on to become a naval aviator, flying fighter jets among other duties. Upon completing his military commitment, he enrolled in law school at Kansas University. He married his wife, Lisa, and the couple have resided in Newton since 1995, where they have raised their four children. Matt works as an assistant United States attorney in Wichita.

Treaster stayed active in wrestling by serving as a high school assistant and club coach in Newton. He has also served for many years on the USAWKS Board in addition to helping with administration duties in the local club.

His children; Logan (23), Grant (21), Nick (17), and Brookelyn (14) have grown up around the sport. The boys have participated in USAWKS-sponsored events and on national teams from the kids age group through the Junior level. Brookelyn, an eighth-grader, is in her second season as a middle-school wrestler. Going in to the 2022-23 season, the family has accumulated 10 high school state titles among father and sons. 

The family legacy goes beyond the mat. Logan, currently in medical school, followed in his father’s footsteps, qualifying for the NCAA tournament and graduating from the Naval Academy in 2021. 

Grant is a junior in Annapolis and a member of the wrestling team. Nick, a senior at Newton High School, will wrestle for the Midshipmen next year. 

This month, the Treaster family as well as the Beloit and Newton wrestling communities could have something special to celebrate if Nick captures his fourth state championship. 

Four-time father/son state champion combinations have happened only a few times in history across the country. It is believed that only four families can lay claim to such a four-peat; the Wallmans of South Dakota, the Martins of Virginia, the Jordans of Ohio, and the Cardwells of Oregon. 

In February, the “Treasters of Kansas” may be added to that elite group and cement themselves as the ‘First Family of Kansas Wrestling.’


Tournament of Champions

By Eric Johnson

Since 1979, USA Wrestling Kansas has circled the “Granddaddy Of Them All” event in Salina, Kan., and aptly named it the Tournament of Champions. 

Over 1,200 wrestlers from 120 clubs in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and neighboring states compete for the top of the podium at the “TOC”. 

A legendary preview of state tournament match-ups, the TOC is the measuring stick for wide-eyed 5-year-olds to the battle-tested 14-year-olds.

Top Kansas clubs, Team of Hard Knox, Brawlers, Topeka Blue Thunder, Maize, Abilene and the South Central Punishers are among other historic training rooms to arrive in Salina at the end of January with one thing in mind: making history.

USAW-KS Chairman Will Cokeley’s three sons brought home a collective seven Kansas high school state titles. As a testament to the rugged competition, those boys entered the Tournament of Champions 17 times over the years and never won a TOC title. Past champions include National Wrestling Hall of Famers Zach Roberson and Eric Akin as well as NCAA champion Kendric Maple.

The newly renovated 6,500+ capacity Tony’s Pizza Event Center makes for the perfect venue for the next TOC clash, Jan. 28, 2023 in Salina.  Building lifetime accomplishments and fulfilling dreams, Kansas wrestling is alive and well!