FORT SCOTT, Kan. – Malachi Vann is leaving his mark in his senior season at Fort Scott High School.
“It’s been kind of like a dream, really,” Vann says, “It seems like everything has kind of went as planned and been everything you could want.”
“He’s just so relentless when he wants something,” says Fort Scott head wrestling coach Alvin Metcalf.
Vann won a 4A, 170 lb state wrestling championship over the weekend in Salina.
“It was definitely something I’ve been chasing since I was four years old, really,” Vann adds, “It was just crazy. I knew I was going to run up to my dad. You could see, there’s a video where I just went and jumped up into his arms. It was pretty funny. I thought it was a pretty sweet moment. I feel like we’ve just been hoping and kind of knowing that it was coming sometime.”
His wrestling state championship was preceded by a special fall season on the football field.
Vann led the Tigers to a 7-1 record, a conference championship and was named the SEK Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback.
“He’s just a phenomenal athlete, and an even better young man,” says Fort Scott head football coach Bo Graham, “He works hard every day. He’s very coachable. His teammates respect him and coaches love being around him. When you have those characteristics, you have a chance to be successful, and that’s what he’s done.”
“He’s got this charisma that he can get people to follow him,” Metcalf says, “He can keep things loose and he’s funny, but then when it’s time to go, he goes.”
Vann says he plans on throwing for the track team this spring.
But he’s already put his name in the Fort Scott history books – and after a few years away, he’s happy he has done it in his home town.
“I think coming back here and getting to do it with everybody that I kind of grew up with, all my friends from middle school, it was really fun to get to come back and get to do it with all of them,” Vann says.
“I’m going to miss him dearly,” Metcalf says of the senior, “I’ve known him and his family for the better part of 15 years. He can’t be replaced, on the football field or on the wrestling mat.”