Wrestling brings home second place at state meet


The wrestling team poses for a picture after becoming district champions. The group placed second overall in the state championship meet.

On Friday and Saturday, the UIL wrestling state championships took place at the Berry Center in Cypress, Texas. Over the weekend, the boys wrestling team was named 5A runner ups placing second overall.

“I think everyone had very high expectations going into the tournament. Being the returning state champions and back-to-back dual state champions, we definitely had a target on our backs,” senior Jackson Lambert said. “Although we fell short of becoming state champs again by only two points, we had the most state placers and qualifiers in program history. Winning state last year and coming in second this year I think established us as a dominant program even if we didn’t become back-to-back champions as we hoped for.”

Junior Sam Reynolds took home a state championship. Senior Jackson Dubree took home third place in his first state appearance. 

“I placed third at state after winning the district tournament and regionals. It was the first time I had qualified for state and it was a new experience that I hadn’t been prepared for,” Dubree said. “However, I came without fear like any big tournament I’ve been in and took home a medal.”

Going into the meet, the leopards sent ten varsity members to compete for the state title, the most qualifiers in leopard history, beating the previous record of nine which was set last year.

“I am going to miss everything, but the team is what I will miss the most,” Lambert said. “The experience that Coach Eaton, Coach Tisher, and the rest of the coaching staff have created at Lovejoy Wrestling is something I wish everyone could go through. Everyone that is a part of Lovejoy wrestling has taught me so much and pushed me to be the best version of myself. Wrestling is what made me who I am and has given me life skills that I will carry throughout my entire life. I am really going to miss learning and growing with the team.”

Five other leopards placed at the state meet. Junior Payton Pierce took home second, along with fellow junior Mercer Ashley in fifth and Andrew Kotecki in sixth. Lambert and senior Corey Soliz also finished in sixth place.

“I am going to miss talking and being with the team at tournaments or just hanging out because the other wrestlers are my best friends,” Soliz said. “ I believe that we could’ve done better and there was definitely room for improvement, but overall I feel like we performed well.