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Davenport continues dominant senior year

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Ell-Saline quarterback and wrestler among the top athletes in Kansas

  • Ell-Saline senior Nick Davenport is one of the top football players and wrestlers in Kansas. (Football photo by Lane Mills Photography, photo from the Panther Classic courtesy Nikki Davenport)
    Ell-Saline senior Nick Davenport is one of the top football players and wrestlers in Kansas. (Football photo by Lane Mills Photography, photo from the Panther Classic courtesy Nikki Davenport)

Update: Davenport announced his commitment to Butler Community College Tuesday morning. He had this to say about choosing Butler Community College over a preferred walk-on opportunity at Kansas State and scholarship offers to Division II and NAIA programs:

"I would say the reason I chose Butler was because I have two dreams, one is to play D1 ball and one is to play QB. In the end, choosing Butler lets me keep both of those dreams alive. I was very excited and thankful for the chance to play defense for K-State, but I felt like there’s still more I can do at the QB position. I know the guys at Butler will help me achieve my dream."

Davenport continues dominant senior year

Ell-Saline senior Nick Davenport is one of the top athletes in Kansas. After completing a standout career as the Cardinals' quarterback and top defender Davenport looks to play in college, but before he does he hopes to cap his senior wrestling season with a 3-2-1A State Championship in the 220 pound class.

Davenport remains undfeated on the season and most recently won the Panther Classic in Phillipsburg where he was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. In the championship match he defeated second ranked Hayden Wiltfong of Norton 3-1 to solidfy his position at the top of the rankings.

In football Davenport is on the radar of Division I programs, including Kansas State, and has interest from multiple schools as either linebacker or quarterback. Davenport recorded 920 rushing yards and 19 scores, along with 1,280 passing yards, 11 TDs, 51.5 tackles and 10 TFLs as a junior and followed that up with 1,600 yards passing, 700 yards rushing and 28 total scores as a senior to go along with 81 more tackles on defense.

Davenport is currently undecided on his college choice but has indicated he would like to go with a program that will give him a shot to play quarterback. He has an offer from Butler Community College and could follow in former Kansas Pregame Football Preview coverboy Tate Omli's footsteps. Omli, also a star quarterback and wrestler for Ell-Saline, turned two seasons as a safety at Butler into an opportunity to play at Northern Iowa. He is now the safeties coach and special teams coordinator at Murray State.

Check out Davenport's senior season highlights below followed by his cover feature from last year's Winter Sports Preview.



Kansas Pregame Winter Sports Preview feature by Conor Nicholl:

Brookville/Ell-Saline senior Nick Davenport has strong family support and is an excellent leader.

“My family is awesome,” he said.

It’s helped Davenport excel in all areas, including football, wrestling and scholastically. In school, Davenport has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is involved with Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

“I do enjoy leading, just trying to help as many people as I can, especially the younger guys,” Davenport said. “I want to pass on as much information and knowledge as I can.”

Davenport served as Ell-Saline’s standout quarterback/linebacker for two seasons. Helped by work with Salina-based Sharp Performance, he has earned collegiate offers at both positions and has interest from NAIA, DII and Kansas State.

His parents, Steve and Nikki, have played a significant role in his career, along with grandparents Buddy and Dona Ludes, and uncles John and Jason Ludes. John is a football assistant and head wrestling coach at Ell-Saline, and Jason has helped with wrestling, too.

“I can’t thank them enough,” Davenport said.

In wrestling, Davenport is happy to see Ell-Saline have a team. In the past, the Cardinals have produced individual standouts, notably state champion Tate Omli, but had a co-op with Minneapolis.

“I think it was the most cool thing from last year,” Davenport said of the squad.

Davenport took third at 195 pounds with a 30-1 record last winter. He won his first two matches by fall in a combined 5 minutes, 5 seconds. Then, he lost by fall in 3:09 to Marion’s Kyle Palic in the championship semifinals. Davenport defeated Palic earlier in the season. Palic fell to Cimarron’s Josh Seabolt, 5-4, in the final. On the backside, Davenport had a victory by disqualification and then a win by fall against Norton’s Hayden Wiltfong, a multi-year state placer.

“We make it work, and we have a lot of good support, and everybody who signs up for wrestling, they are in it for the right reasons, and they are trying to better themselves,” Davenport said. “So it is pretty cool to see what our program has done, and guys like Tate that have kind of started it with co-oping, it’s pretty cool to build off what they have done.”

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