School: Weddington High
Weight Class: 197
Notable: 2017 North Carolina State Class 3A Runner-Up. … 2017 Disney Duals All-American. … 2017 Super 32 Placer. … Houghton signed with North Carolina State in November.
While waiting to interview Weddington High’s Tyrie Houghton the conversation with an assistant Warriors football coach turned from football to the Warriors’ senior wrestler. Houghton is one of the best in the state after finishing as the Class 3A runner-up as a junior.
“Tyrie is having a great year, and people are afraid to wrestle him,” the coach said.
I didn’t take that opponents were afraid to face Houghton literally. I assumed opponents knew what was coming when they squared off with the North Carolina State wrestling signee.
But opponents are indeed afraid to even step on the mat to face Houghton. In his first 14 matches this year, Houghton has won by forfeit six times while he has defeated his opponents the rest of the time at 197.
Not being to wrestle is frustrating to say the least.
“I feel people are scared to wrestle me,” Houghton said. “I have had a lot of forfeits so far. Making weight and not being able to wrestle is kind of annoying.”
Weddington High wrestling coach Shane Rimmer said Houghton is a fundamentally sound wrestler.
“Tyrie is a well-rounded wrestler,” Rimmer said. “He has all the tools to be successful. Last year, he did very well. This year he is looking to finish it off and win a state title. He is the kind of kid that is always looking to get better. When he does something, it is all or nothing for him. I’m looking forward to seeing how the season plays out for him.
“Having the experience last year of getting on the podium, he knows what it takes to get it done. He has a better understanding of what it takes to finish at the top of that podium. Hopefully, we can use that experience to fix the mistakes from last year.”
Houghton said losing in the finals as a junior has made him work harder in an attempt to take the next step and win a state championship.
“It is an incentive to work harder,” Houghton said. “I want to not mess up and win it this year. I did a lot of offseason training.”
Houghton has been wrestling for seven years and he said signing with North Carolina State was a dream come true.
“It has been a dream of mine for the last five or six years to be a Division I wrestler,” Houghton said. “I’m really excited about it. I’m ready to go up there and compete, work hard and get better. There are going to be a lot of hours in the practice room.”
North Carolina wrestling coach Pat Popolizio said that Houghton will help the Wolfpack wrestling program.
“Tyrie brings in a budding wrestling career and outstanding academic profile,” Popolizo said. “A recent place winner at the prestigious Super 32 tournament proves Tyrie is making strides on the mat. His 4.95 GPA and interest in Mechanical Engineering highlights his strengths as a true student-athlete. We pride ourselves on developing in-state talent and Tyrie will follow Malik McDonald and Michael Macchiavello as good North Carolina upper weights at NC State.”
Rimmer said North Carolina is getting a solid prospect in Houghton.
“It was his first choice and North Carolina State has a really good program,” Rimmer said. “It’s going to be a good fit for both of them.”