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The Madras senior wrestler is following in his father's footsteps as he eyes a state title.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Madras senior Reece White, right, spars with fellow state placer Carlos Torres before practice. White placed second at the 4A state showcase last season, and he has a scholarship to wrestle collegiately at MSU-Northern.Madras wrestling enters the 2021-22 season with a clear star in senior Reece White. Following a season in which he finished second at the unofficial state tournament, White is now looking to take home the state championship in his final year.

Madras head coach Brad Padgett is trying to help him get there.

"Reece is going for a state championship," said Padgett. "I want to see him get that. That's my goal, to make sure he attains that. I'm going to do everything I can to see him do that, because walking out of here as a state champ is a very big deal."

Of course, this journey did not start just last year.

"I know that (a state championship) has been his goal since he was a little kid," added Padgett. "He's from a very strong wrestling background."

Reece White went back even further to pinpoint the start of his wrestling career.

"I was on the wrestling mat before I could walk," said White. "We're a big wrestling family, for sure."

Reece's father, Simon, was a two-time All-American at Montana State University-Northern, located in the city of Havre. Simon White finished second nationally in 1996 after placing fifth the year before.

Now, Reece will have a chance to continue that legacy, as he has accepted a scholarship offer to attend and wrestle for MSUN starting next year.

But first, White has some unfinished business left on his plate in Madras. Helping the program means a great deal to the senior Buff.

"It's everything," said White of what it meant to him to represent the team so well last season. "We don't usually get a lot of people to show up for wrestling, so when we have someone place that high, it makes Madras wrestling better."

In addition to White's second-place finish, teammate Carlos Torres placed sixth at state. All told, the Buffs sent eight qualifiers to the showcase.

For all the talent on the squad, though, the role of team leader undoubtedly belongs to White.

"Oh, for sure," responded White reflexively when asked if he embraces that role for the Buffs. "When I talk, people listen."

That leadership is not completely innate, though. White says he learned some of those skills.

"Watching how the older kids did it when I was younger, and just trying to emulate that," said White of how approaches his craft.

While he takes his role very seriously, White also manages to stay loose while he is competing. That allows his lifelong instincts to take over, which is what makes White so successful.

"Just have fun," said White on what goes through his mind on the mat. "I don't really care if I win or lose, I'm having fun the whole time. Really nothing at all is going through my head."

As for the rest of the team, White hopes his example will rub off.

"Like my coach says, iron sharpens iron."


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