In 2018-2019 Walla Walla Public Schools started a new tradition of honoring state champion individuals and teams at a board meeting. Students and teams qualify for this recognition by finishing in the top three at state for athletics, music, drama, FFA, FBLA, debate, JROTC and any other state qualifying activities. This is an opportunity for these outstanding students to be recognized by the Superintendent and School Board.
Tuesday, March 21, Wa-Hi wrestlers and cheerleaders were honored for their state competition performances.
Cheer Team - Coach Morgan Arreola
The Cheer Team, coached by Morgan Arreola, finished third at state in the 3A/4A Non-Tumbling Small category and third place in the 3A Game Day Medium category. Morgan says these athletes don’t just worry about themselves and how well they will compete. They are always thinking about how loud they can get the crowd behind the football team, or how many friends they can get to go and support the basketball team.
She was very proud of the Cheer Team for helping get more students to travel to the away basketball games to support the team. These young ladies also support the student body during assemblies and other school functions. They are always willing to visit an elementary school or local business to help promote the school. Morgan says this is the most unselfish, hardworking group of athletes she has coached to date and wants everyone to know how much they are appreciated. The cheer team consists of:
Morgan Arreola, Head Coach
Jordyn Thrall, Asst Coach
Wrestling - Coach Jacob Butenhoff
Both of the student-athletes recognized at the March 21 school board meeting made history in Walla Walla this year.
Freshman Kylie Whitaker finished her season with a record of 40-10. She is the first freshman in school history to place let alone take as high as 3rd in the State 3/4A Mat Classic. She is also the new record holder for most single season wins in school history with 40 – and 22 of those wins by fall. Coach Butenhoff says Kylie is a true ambassador of the sport and is also active in volunteering her time coaching youth wrestling. He says Kylie has become the hero of many little girl wrestlers.
Senior Mateo Caso is a two-time state placer. In 2022, he took 3rd at state and became a state champion in 2023. The last state champion at Wa-Hi was Shane Anderson 27 years ago in 1996. Mateo is the current record holder for most career wins at 109 and most wins in a single season with 45. He holds 2nd place in single season pins at 28 and career pins with 60. This year Mateo received team awards of Most Valuable, Team Captain, and The Sievertsen Award. The Sievertsen award is voted on by the coaching staff and given to a student-athlete that emulates the core beliefs of Devil Style Wrestling - Resilience, Toughness and Family. Coach Butenhoff says he is thankful for Mateo's contributions to the Wa-Hi wrestling family and looks forward to watching him excel in the next stage of his journey. Mateo is weighing his options on wrestling at the collegiate level next year.
Also both Kylie and Mateo were 1st team all-conference for their respective weight classes -- Kylie at 120lbs and Mateo at 152lbs. Mateo was also the "Upper-weight Wrestler of the year" as voted on by the MCC coaches.
Congratulations again to all these outstanding students. Your efforts and dedication model our Vision of Developing Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates.