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Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs booed after winning state title

USA TODAY High School Sports logo USA TODAY High School Sports 2/25/2018 Matt Howerton, WFAA
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Euless Trinity (Texas) transgender wrestler Mack Beggs won his second straight state title Saturday evening to a chorus of boos.

Beggs (36-0), who won last year's Class 6A girls championship in the 110-pound division, won by decision 15-3 against Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch.

Last year, the 18-year-old beat Sanchez for the championship.

Beggs was the center of both praise and criticism in 2017 when a parent filed a lawsuit to try to 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 UIL policy also says that student-athletes in high school must compete as the gender that's on their birth certificate.

Beggs wants to wrestle boys and said he would if that law didn't exist. Though the UIL has said publicly that it has never received an official request from Beggs or his school asking to wrestle boys.

Marco Karem, Beggs' father, said that his son's story should bring encouragement to others.

"He inspires a lot of people, and if he can help just one person-then it's worth it to Mack," Karem said.

WFAA spoke with a number of parents, and all seem to support Beggs' choice to be transgender. However, many voiced that he should be wrestling boys or not wrestling at all.

Beggs shrugged off the jeers and told WFAA, "I don't care, I gave my all in that match."

"You put me in front of anybody and I'll wrestle them," he said. "Each time I read comments, they all say the same thing about steroids. It all comes down to technique and who has the most heart."

Beggs wants to wrestle in the NCAA and is entertaining a scholarship offer from an out-of-state school.

He also wants to train for the Olympics.

Both the NCAA and the Olympics have rules in place that allow athletes to compete as the gender they identify with.

Beggs is also working towards a gender reassignment surgery.

At the end of the day, the teen said he's glad to close this chapter of his life-and hopes the state reconsiders many of the rules that brought him to the center of controversy.

"I wanted to come out on top, and in my heart-I feel like a champion," Beggs said.

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