Conway Springs is a factory for producing kids in the weight room and football field. Every year that we come across submissions to our Sports in Kansas twitter and Instagram, we are amazed of the numbers and what some of these kids look like in the pictures. The look we are referring to as “live in a weight room.” That weight room has certainly has transitioned to the field as the school has seven state football titles since 1998.
The most recent player getting it done in the weight room is Chase Ast, senior fullback and defensive tackle at Conway Springs. He is what you would consider a weight room freak and in this scenario freak is a very good thing to be called when weight room is attached to it. Ast, who is 6-feet tall and weighs 250-pounds, is pound-for-pound one of the strongest kids in the state. Ast squats 615-pounds, benches 365-pounds, and cleans 335-pounds. Those numbers would be off the chart at an FBS program right now, let a lone a small 2A high school in Central Kansas. Last season in the 242-pound weight class, Ast won the state powerlifting championship. And Ast isn’t the only strong kid in the school, Daniel Becker also squats over 500-pounds and benches 325. He will also have several opportunities at the next level with his 6’3” 240-pound size.
He’s not just a kid that is strong in the weight room either, it has transitioned to the football field. Yeah, he may not be 6’4” 280-pound with multiple Divison I offers, but he’s made himself a very solid small school player in the state after tallying 15 tackles for loss last year at his defensive tackle position on the way to earning 3A honorable mention all-state.
Ast has seen some interest from multiple programs at the collegiate level and plans to play college football. He also features a 3.0 GPA and his favorite subject is Science.
Conway Springs has seven state football titles as a school with all of those coming since 1998 and the last one coming in 2011. It has produced the likes of Division I talent in the past like Tanner Wood (Kansas State), Logan Creek (Youngstown State), Matt Seiwert (Kansas State), Darren Seiwert (Kansas State), Caleb Handy (Kansas State), Jaydan Bird (Oklahoma), Matt Wykes (Kansas State), Nathan Pauly (Colorado State), Eric Pauly (Colorado State).
For now, Ast’s focus is on getting his team deep into the 2A playoffs and compete for a state title. Conway Springs, who finished 10-1 last season, returns five starters on offense and seven starters on defense, has started out the 2018 campaign 1-0 with their 48-7 victory over Wichita Trinity last week. The Cardinals, led by head coach Matt Biehler, will be at home this Friday against Cheney.
This feature is presented by Conway Springs Booster Club
How did you get involved in football?
I started playing football in the 3rd grade, I fell in love with the game ever since I touched a football, it’s one of the greates sports out there, you make friends, and bonds that will never be broken with your teammates. Most of the guys you played youth football with go on to play high school football, which makes your chemistry great.
What are your goals this season?
My goals are to go undeafeted in the regular season, and win a state title. I want to be the best player for our team and help in any way I can.
Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?
I believe we have a shot for state this year, we need to work really hard in practice to get our guys some experience and we should click on all cylinders.
What makes you such a force as a player?
I believe my speed and my strength as a running back and a defensive tackle make me such a force.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
The atmosphere is amazing, the whole town comes to every game to support us and they do a lot for the players, they cook meals, they bring us drinks, it’s really the best town out there.
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
Our games are really fun to be at, you’ll see our offense score in many different ways, and you’ll see our defense get stops when we need them and get some interceptions.
Who are other key players on your team?
Daniel Becker, Zach Mercer, Colin Koester, Peyton Winter, Jonathan Wright, Aaron May, and Dawson Martin.
Favorite thing about football?
My favorite thing about football is that you get to go out on those Friday nights under the lights and show your town, and the opposing team who you really are.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that?
I do powerlifting and track. I made it to state last year in track for discus, I placed 8th. And I’m powerlifting I won the 242 weight class at state.
What is it like to play for your coach?
Our coach is the best coach out there, he knows what he’s doing with our defense and offense. He encourages us to get in the weight room and better ourselves each and everyday.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
We got in the weight room hard, we had a bunch of guys get stronger and faster this summer.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
My plan is to play football at the next level, I really like the atmosphere from colleges and the players.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
My favorite thing to do when I’m not playing sports is getting in the weight room to better myself for my sports.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself living with a wife, in our own house, and coaching strength and condintioning.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
My favorite subject is science, everything about science fascinated me, from the planets, to plants and even to the human anatomy. I’m the type of student to lead a class and set a good example for the classes below me. 3.0
Who is your role model?
My role model is Tanner Wood. He proved that even coming from a small school in the middle of no where, you can make your dreams come true.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
I think the best place to eat in Conway is Gambinos Pizza.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you?
That I’m a great leader.