Penn Hills lineman taking wrestler’s mentality to Richmond

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Sunday, September 24, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Kelsey Hundley’s mentality lends itself well to wrestling. The Penn Hills senior offensive lineman is determined to never fold. When attempting to survive a heavyweight wrestling match, conceding ground isn’t a wise maneuver.

Picking up wrestling before his junior year helped Hundley look at things differently.

“It’s a competition about testing your pride as a man,” Hundley said. “It’s on you. A million things can happen in football. If there’s a bad snap or bad throw, you can still make a play. In wrestling, it’s on you. It’s the most dangerous game. It’s a different mentality.”

Hundley, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound lineman, has been a key cog on the Indians’ offense line. Recently, Hundley made the decision to commit to play in college at Richmond. The Spiders compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) in the Colonial Athletic Association. Hundley said he plans to pursue a degree in communication or business.

During the 2022 season, Richmond finished 9-4 and reached the second round of the FCS playoffs before losing to Sacramento State. The Spiders are off to a 1-2 start this season.

Penn Hills football coach Charles Morris made the suggestion that Hundley should try wrestling last season. When it comes to making improvements, Morris said that Hundley has always done a good job letting the coaching staff know what he’s looking for.

“He’s a worker,” Morris said. “He’s an intelligent kid. He’s very coachable. He does a lot of things that people don’t see to work on his craft. He knows there’s always room for extra coaching.”

Hundley has always been willing to try new things. In addition to wrestling, Hundley also plays on the boys volleyball and basketball teams in addition to playing a part in the high school musical.

While wrestling at 285 pounds last season, Hundley compiled a 12-10 record. Hundley had six wins by pin.

Trying to win one-on-one matchups is something that Hundley enjoys trying to figure out.

“I want to break the person in front of me,” Hudley said. “It’s a pride thing. I’m not going to let someone break me. I don’t care if I lose the first snap and last snap, whoever I’m up against is going to feel everything I’ve got.”

Morris said that Hundley’s build helps make him work effectively at either guard or tackle. Coupled with his mental approach, opponents find it hard to get past Hundley.

“He has really long arms,” Morris said. “He also has this tenacity and tenacious mindset. He refuses to let people dominate him.”

Penn Hills is off to a 3-1 start this season and is 1-0 in the Northeast Conference. Results from the Indians’ game against North Hills on Sept. 22 were too late for this edition.

“Honestly, it makes us more hungry,” Hundley said. “We were punched in the mouth by a team that played a solid game. We also lost a couple brothers. We have grinded for this opportunity. The loss drives us more.”

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