WHITEHOUSE — Three wrestlers from Whitehouse High School have qualified for the UIL Wrestling State Tournament, marking the school’s first wrestling state qualifiers.
Junior Josh Green, sophomore Carter McLaughlin and sophomore Sheily Morales will compete in the event, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Berry Center in Cypress.
Green is in the 190-pound class and enters the state meet with a record of 20-4.
Green, also the quarterback of the Whitehouse football team and accounted for 3,387 yards and 40 touchdowns this season, has been wrestling most of his life.
“I started when I was around 4 years old,” Green said “My brother went to Henderson and they had a youth program there, and that’s what really got me started. I went with him, and I fell in love with wrestling.”
Green will make his first appearance at state because he didn’t get to wrestle at the regional meet as a freshman and missed his sophomore season with a knee injury.
“It’s definitely awesome to get the opportunity to go wrestle at state and represent Whitehouse,” Geen said.
Whitehouse wrestling coach J.R. Godwin said Green’s work ethic is what sets him apart.
“That is the hardest working kid in any room he’s in, whether it’s wrestling or football” Godwin said. “In wrestling, if you don’t practice hard and do your job, you lose. It’s on you, and you can’t blame anybody else.”
Green said he likes that aspect of wrestling.
“The thing about wrestling is it’s your fault either way,” Green said. “It’s your fault if you win and it’s your fault if you lose. You can’t blame anyone. I love that fact.”
Green is matched up in the opening round against Lucas Lovejoy senior Jackson Dubree (42-3).
Midlothian’s Karson Tompkins (46-0) is regarded as one of the top wrestlers in the nation and won the Region 2 meet. He is in the bottom half of the bracket with Green.
“The top three in the state were all from our region,” Godwin said. “It’s a tough region, and Josh did really well. The kid that’s the best in the state in his weight class and is in the top five in the nation, he’s really good, but I think Josh can beat that kid, I really do.”
McLaughlin is in his first year at Whitehouse after moving from Loomis, California, where he attended Del Oro High School.
“He’s wrestled for a long time,” Godwin said. “His dad was a wrestler, and his grandpa was a wrestling coach. He is a very technically gifted, very technically sounds, no holes in his game wrestler. He wrestles very smart. He is very calculated and very cerebral. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
McLaughlin said when his family moved to Texas, “we were looking for a town that had wrestling, lacrosse and football.”
McLaughlin plays lacrosse at Cumberland Academy. He wrestles at Whitehouse and also plays football as a slot receiver.
McLaughlin (18-3) is in the 138-pound class. He placed second at regionals behind Lancaster’s Jaden Machado.
“His only losses have been to high-ranked kids,” Godwin said.
Godwin said McLaughlin lost to a Class 6A wrestler early in the season and then lost to the No. 1-ranked kid in the state, Machado, twice — once in a one-point match and the other in double overtime at regionals.
“Carter is going to do really well,” Godwin said. “I think he’s going to have a really good showing at this tournament. I think he has the potential to be a state champ by his junior and senior year. He’s already the regional runner-up and going to state as a sophomore, which is incredible.
McLaughlin will open state against Richmond Foster’s Clayton Kampwerth (18-5).
“Winning is the big goal, but I just want to do the best I can and have fun with Josh and Coach Godwin and enjoy the experience,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin did hint at wanting to get another shot at Machado, though.
“Hopefully I make it to the finals and get him this time,” he said.
Morales, also a standout soccer player and track athlete, is new to wrestling and has only been to six practices this year.
“Sheily is just a natural scrapper,” Godwin said. “She doesn’t actually understand how the rules work yet. She doesn’t even know how you score points or how you win. All she knows is I’m supposed to take this person and put them on their back. She will ask me for advice before matches, and I’m like just keep doing what you do.”
Morales is in the 100-pound class and enters the state tournament with a 7-3 record.
“I’m surprised, honestly, that I’ve made it this far,” Morales said. “Everybody has been telling me good job, but I’m kind of freaking out.”
Morales will take on A&M Consolidated senior Sydney Perez (29-4).
Pittsburg sophomore Mason Knight (11-0) has also made it to state in the 126-pound class. He will take on Smithson Valley junior Tristan Luna (47-13).