DeShawn Woodhouse has quite the wardrobe.
Woodhouse is a junior at Northeast High School, and while he has plenty of nice clothes when the occasion calls for it, if he blindly reached into his closet and pulled out a piece of clothing, there’s a good chance it will be black and red.
That’s what happens when you always represent your school.
“I have nice clothes, but I rarely wear them, I’m always wearing something that has to do with Northeast,” said Woodhouse, a two-way starter (running back and linebacker) on the Northeast football team and a 189-pound wrestler at the school. “I usually just wear something Northeast. I like all the clothes. I’d probably say my favorites? I guess the long sleeved T-shirt and my wrestling singlet. Those are probably the two I like the most.”
Give him a few weeks and ask again. There’s a good chance he might have a new answer if they make new shirts that say, “Northeast wrestling, champions, 2024!”
The Vikings won their fourth straight Public League championship on Wednesday, beating neighborhood rivals George Washington 49-24.
The Vikings got pins from Woodhouse, Ibrokhimbek Juraboev, Damon Ross, Samiyah Rahming, Archil Paulin, Syaire Anderson and Nasir Rahming, while Adam Farahat and Muhammad Farooq won by decision. The Eagles’ winners were Mukhammad Nasriddinkhujaev, Daniel Shulgin, Mirjakhon Ismailov and Alisajjod Kahramonov, who all won by pin.
Northeast has now won four straight, and has competed in the past 16 Public League wrestling championships, winning 10 of them.
This year’s win marked the third straight for Woodhouse, who has been on the team since he was a freshman. He also was on the Northeast football team that won championships during his freshman and sophomore year. This year, the Vikings again got to the championship game, but fell to Lincoln.
While every championship means a lot, this one was probably the most special for Woodhouse, a captain of the team.
“I think this was the biggest for me, it might have been football if we won, but for now, it’s this,” said Woodhouse, who lives about a mile away from the school. “I love football, but I didn’t play a whole lot during the championships. I got in and all, but I wasn’t a key player or anything.
“This team means a lot to me because we had a lot of young guys step up. Shout out the young guys. We had guys who came in and didn’t know everything about it, but they worked hard and got better. I had guys ask me questions. And they really went out and helped us. This was a team win.”
One of the matches that stood out to Woodhouse was Syaire Anderson’s second-period pin. This came after he was losing the match in the first period.
“When he won, the whole gym went crazy, he fought so hard, we were all proud,” Woodhouse said of his younger teammate. “And we already had it wrapped up before he went out, but he fought so hard. He earned that. That’s what this team is.”
That’s the kind of wrestler Woodhouse is, too.
Woodhouse is 19-5 on the season, and is one of the top wrestlers in the Public League. He could dominate his weight class in most matches, but when he needs to, he’s not afraid to bump up to 215 pounds to help the team.
Obviously that’s much different than what he’s used to, but it’s something he’s happy to do to help the team.
“It’s completely different, you’re wrestling completely different,” Woodhouse said. “The biggest thing is you can’t overpower them so you have to use your speed. It definitely makes you a better wrestler because you’re trying to do different things. I love doing it.
“It’s not much easier at 189. The guys there are strong. You can’t bully them. It’s where some great wrestlers are. I just wrestle different because I’m the same size as them. It’s different when you’re wrestling someone a lot bigger.”
Wrestling season is far from over for the Vikings, and they have some fun on the horizon.
First up will be a battle with La Salle, the 6A representative from the Catholic League. The Explorers first must wrestle Conwell-Egan on Tuesday in the Catholic League championship.
Woodhouse can’t wait for his matchup in the District 12 championship.
“La Salle always has good wrestlers, and La Salle’s 215-pounder (Dylan Clair) is a great wrestler,” said Woodhouse, who scored a pin last year against Clair in the District 12 championship, which La Salle won. “We go back and forth. I get him, he’ll get me. That makes you better. He’s my year, so we’ll do it this year and there’s a chance we could do it again next year. That makes me better.”
Woodhouse is always looking to get better.
After wrestling season, he’s not looking to take a break. He’s looking to go right into his next sport.
“I was going to run track last year to get better, but I had dislocated my knee,” Woodhouse said of the injury he sustained during his individual postseason last year. “I just want to run, to practice, but if they give me an event, I think I’ll be a thrower. I’m running mostly for football, but if I can help the team, I’ll do it.”
Who knows, he’ll probably get a new shirt out of the deal, too.