Killham signs with Emporia State for football

By Maria McIlwain

Zephry Killham isn’t going far to play football next year.

Killham, a safety and standout on special teams, signed with Emporia State on Thursday.

“Just basically hearing all these good things about it, and I decided to give it a try, and turns out, I really liked it,” he said.

Killham said it was tough choosing between football and wrestling but knows the latter taught him lessons he can take onto the gridiron and beyond.

“I had some strengths and weaknesses in both, and I’ve done them for all my life, but I really felt like I could go further and I enjoy football more,” he said.

He added that wrestling taught him about the importance accountability, honesty and punctuality.

Killham, a second team All-Centennial League and All-Flint Hills selection, is joining an Emporia State team that has been successful in recent years. Last year, the Hornets went 11-2 (10-1 MIAA). Their only losses came to eventual Division II champion Northwest Missouri State, first in the season opener and then in the second round of the Division II playoffs.

Killham looks to continue to make an impact on both defense and special teams. Off the football field, Killham plans to major in elementary education.

He’s excited to get to know everyone at Emporia State. But he knows his parents and mentors helped him get there.

“It is very rewarding, and I’m very thankful that I have so many people behind me and pushing me forward,” he said.

Coaches, including head wrestling coach Robert Gonzales and defensive coordinator Weston Moody, offered congratulations and well-wishes.

“I talked about you on special teams more than anything,” Moody said. “I always knew I could trust you out there. I always knew that you could make that play. I was never afraid when you were on the field.”

Family is important to Killham, and he plans to come back to watch his younger teammates wrestle.

“It’s definitely more years to come to watch the young ones,” he said. “To watch Tate (Sauder) and all the other guys and have fun with it.”

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