ALLEN, Texas—A transgender wrestler from Euless Trinity is headed to the Class 6A state championship tournament.
On Saturday, 18-year-old Mack Beggs will compete for a 6A Region II tournament title which will ultimately determine bracket seeding for the state tournament.
According to UIL rules, the top four finishers in each weight class from regionals advance to the state tournament.
Beggs received both praise and criticism last year when a parent filed a lawsuit to try and keep him from wrestling in the female division.
A few years ago, Beggs began transitioning from female to male. The lawsuit’s argument centered around Beggs’ use of testosterone to help with that transition.
But, according to the UIL, it’s not a banned substance since it comes from a physician.
A state law passed in 2016 also says that student-athletes in high school must compete as the gender that’s on their birth certificate.
He made national headlines when he won the Class 6A girls championship for the 110-pound weight class in 2017.
Grandmother Nancy Beggs said her family has pressed state leaders to change that law, saying that her grandson wants to wrestle boys.
“We played by the book all along, but I think something needs to change,” she said.
Since all the media attention, Beggs said she would call the last year "wild."
She describes being hounded by news crews, people wanting to turn her grandson’s story into a book or movie, being approached by political players who want to advance transgender rights, and now a documentary crew is following Beggs around for his senior year.
At one point, Beggs said that she had to send her grandson to an undisclosed location to avoid all the publicity.
“He just wasn’t getting any peace,” she said.
Beggs is now entertaining a scholarship offer at an out-of-state school. If he accepts, he would compete as a male in the NCAA.
According to his grandmother, Beggs competed in male wrestling meet in Irving, Texas, last summer and finished fourth.
He’s also preparing for gender reassignment surgery.
Beggs wouldn’t talk to WFAA Friday by request of his coach. His wrestling journey in college will be a brand new chapter, but his mother is thankful for the one he’s leaving behind at Euless Trinity saying it has prepared him for life.
“Hell yeah, I’m proud of him,” she laughed. “He wants to pave the way for other kids that are going through athletics having problems.”
The state wrestling tournament will be in Cypress next week.