Vipers wrestlers compete at state

Zachary Hampton places 5th at state in mid February. Photo submitted to Vandegrift Voice


Four Points News

Five Vandegrift Vipers competed at the UIL State Wrestling Meet with junior Zachary Hampton getting to the podium in 5th place at the Berry Center of Northwest Houston in Cypress, Tex. February 18-19.

Although Hampton was the only one to podium, which is reserved for the top six, other Vipers placed: Junior Carter Taylor placed 9th, and placing 13th in their weight division were junior Rex Jacops and sophomores Brandon Runhaar and Derek Ruffin. 

Paul Muck, VHS head wrestling coach, is proud of this year’s accomplishments despite challenges through the pandemic. “This year’s group has overcome a bunch of adversity.”

Over the past six years, VHS has taken 39 students to the state meet and has had 13 have gotten to the podium, Muck said. 

“Those numbers mean that we are a top level program that not only consistently gets wrestlers to the state meet, but also consistently puts them on the podium,” Muck said. “We are constantly striving to be the best at whatever level we are competing at.”

VHS also brought three alternates to state: Jack Hoffman, Sterling Emerson and Rowen Johnson.

VHS state & season results

Zachary Hampton (junior) 182 lbs 

5th place season record of 53-5

Carter Taylor (junior) 120 lbs 

9th place season record 45-7

Rex Jacops (junior) 152 lbs 

  13th place season record of 47-5

Brandon Runhaar (sophomore) 106 lbs

13th place season record 44-9

Derek Ruffin (sophomore) 113 lbs 

13th place season record 36-14

Rex Jacops competed at state.
Derek Ruffin competed at state.
Brandon Runhaar competed at state.
Carter Taylor competed at state
Vandegrift junior Zachary Hampton placed 5th in this year’s UIL state wrestling meet.

Prior to state:

Five Vandegrift Vipers earned a chance to wrestle at the state level and three more are alternates. The UIL State Wrestling Meet runs Feb. 18-19 at the Berry Center of Northwest Houston in Cypress, Tex.

“The state meet is the pinnacle of where these kids work to get to all year. Now that we are here, we try and preach, don’t just be satisfied with being here, but try and get on the podium (top 6),” said Paul Muck, VHS head wrestling coach. 

“Over the past six years we have had a bunch of success with not only getting kids to the state meet – 39 in the past six years – but also getting wrestlers on the podium (state placers), 12 in the past six years,” Muck said. “This year’s group has overcome a bunch of adversity and we are going to compete and enjoy our experience.”      


106 Brandon Runhaar

113 Derek Ruffin

120 Carter Taylor

152 Rex Jacops

170 Jack Hoffman

182 Zachary Hampton

220 Sterling Emerson


95 Rowen Johnson