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Warm and Cosey: West senior makes a turnaround

After self-described 'lazy' stretch, Waukesha West senior Cosey flourishes on field, in classroom

Jan. 19, 2010

The story of Waukesha West senior Breyon Cosey is one that dreams are made of.

A lot of times things just don't work out the way it did for the thankful 6-foot, 300 pounder.

Four years ago, Cosey was a freshman at Waukesha West and tried out for football. After only a few games, he quit the team. He didn't do anything more in athletics his first two years at West, and he struggled academically at the same time.

"I was just being lazy at everything," Cosey said. "I quit football and didn't do anything. I wasn't doing my work in the classroom either. It was all my fault. I knew I was a big dude, but I wasn't putting any effort in anything. I'm just glad some of the coaches and teachers starting talking to me my junior year. Finally, I figured things out."

It still took another full year for Cosey to blossom into one of the top football players at West, a successful wrestler and most importantly, a worthy student.

As a junior, Cosey still didn't play football despite the fact he was arguably the strongest kid in school. With some prodding from several teachers and staff, Cosey did go out for wrestling and quickly earned the starting spot at 285 pounds. Despite no previous wrestling experience, Cosey finished last season with a highly respectable 17-7 record. He also competed in the shot put during the track and field season.

"I did better my junior year, but I still wasn't having that much fun," Cosey added. "But it was that year that some of my coaches and teachers started talking to me. They convinced me I could do better, in the classroom and in sports. I didn't believe it at first. But then I listened more and it made some sense. That's when I decided to go back out for football and do better in school. I have a lot of people to thank for helping me."

Several staff members helped turn Cosey's fortunes around, including Joe Jenna, Terry Biel, Steve Rux and Todd Hencsik, along with fellow students Justin Boller and David Anderson.

Cosey started playing football in August, willing to do as much work as it took. He already knew he had the physical ability to play the game and contribute to the team, and now he had the attitude to match.

He became an instant starter on the defensive line and an instant standout. Cosey's play helped West to its first Classic 8 Conference championship in school history and its first undefeated regular season (9-0).

The Wolverines lost to rival Arrowhead in the second round of the playoffs after defeating the Warhawks during the conference season.

The robust senior was a first-team all-conference selection at defensive line and earned honorable mention on the All-State team. Most league observers concurred he was the best defensive linemen in the conference and arguably the best defensive player. For a guy who played only a few games as a freshman and none as a sophomore or junior, Cosey had virtually climbed to the top of the mountain.

"Breyon had a great year for us," said Rux, the head football coach at West. "He's been given some natural gifts with his size and speed. For a kid who didn't make it through his freshman year playing football and was struggling academically, Breyon's story is a big success."

Rux said the nice thing was Breyon listened to all his teachers, coaches and friends who believed in him.

"There were a lot of people, staff, coaches and classmates that supported him and kept encouraging him to wrestle, go out for track and play football," Rux said. "Those same people also worked with him to be a better student. The nice thing is Breyon did what those people were telling him. We know what he can do on the football field, and now he's working hard in the classroom. I know he wants to play college football or at a junior college."

As of last week, Cosey's wrestling record was 16-2. Earlier this year, he recorded the fastest pin in school history, finishing off his opponent in just six seconds.

"I like wrestling a lot, but not as much as football," Cosey said. "I want to make it to the state tournament this year and then try and set the school record in the shot put. I'm having a good time playing sports.

"Right now I just want to keep my grades up and stay focused. I owe a lot to all the people that have helped me."

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