Extra Helpings: Brookville’s Kunselman Feasting on Both Sides of the Ball for the Raiders

BROOKVILLE (EYT/D9) — There are times around the holidays when Brayden Kunselman wants to indulge.

The Brookville junior admits he loves to eat. He can’t always listen to his stomach.

(Photo by Molly Zimmerman)

There are bigger things to think about for Kunselman, a star on the football team and also a standout wrestler.

That extra helping of stuffing comes with a cost.

“Me and cutting weight don’t really go well together,” Kunselman said, chuckling. “When it comes around to those holidays, I usually try to limit it as much as possible. Obviously, I’m gonna put on a couple of pounds. After one of those meals, I like to go for a run with a couple of extra layers on.”

Kunselman isn’t the biggest guy — he’s listed at 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds. But he’s one of the toughest players on the football field for the Raiders and one of the grittiest wrestlers on the mat at the school.

The discipline it takes to play a football season and then go right into a grueling wrestling campaign is significant, not just at the dinner table when it comes to counting calories, but also physically and mentally in other ways.

Quite simply, Kunselman puts his body through the wringer.

Yet, Kunselman has done it year after year — and wouldn’t change a thing.

“I think football and wrestling are two of the most exhausting sports you could possibly do,” Kunselman said. “Taking all these hits, cutting weight, it’s something you really have to be into to do it and for how many years I’ve been doing this, I haven’t thought twice about not doing it. The kind of effort and work ethic I have, I’m always down and ready for it.”

Last winter, Kunselman couldn’t wrestle because of a shoulder injury he sustained during football season. He said it was tough to be sidelined for a season, especially since he won the District 9 crown at 120 pounds as a freshman.

This fall, he’s back on the gridiron and making a big impact for Brookville on both sides of the ball.

In Week 2 against DuBois, Kunselman caught seven passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the 21-7 win.

Last week against Punxsutawney, Kunselman did his damage on the defensive side of the ball from his safety position with three interceptions in the Raiders’ 35-7 victory.

“It feels good to know I can help my team win in any way possible, either offensively or defensively,” Kunselman said. “I just go into every game trying to do everything I can to help our team win.”

Kunselman said film study is what helped him have the big game in the secondary against the Chucks. He said through watching Punxsy on tape, he was able to latch on to some tendencies that helped him be in the right place at the right time.

He certainly didn’t expect three INTs, though.

“Did I think I was going to have 205 yards in a game in Week 2? No — just like I didn’t think I’d have three interceptions in a game in Week 3,” Kunselman said. “I just have to keep producing those numbers each and every week to be who I am.”

Brookville is off to a 3-0 start for the third consecutive year. The last time the Raiders had three straight 3-0 starts was in 1931, ’32 and ’33.

That fact, more than any other, surprised Kunselman.

“I was shocked because of those districts teams (in the mid 2000s),” Kunselman said. “I thought they’d have done that. I’m excited to see what we have in store.”

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