Pelham wrestler Hasaan Hawthorne is unbeaten this season and won the Alabama 6A state title at 145 pounds.
That would be impressive enough, but then consider that Hawthorne is a double amputee who was born without tibias.
Hawthorne, a senior, outpointed Southside-Gadsden’s Landon Thompson in the title match Saturday in Huntsville to run his record to 37-0. He was named the state championship meet’s Most Valuable Wrestler in 6A.
“I just worked hard in practice to get ready,” Hawthorne told AL.com. “Landon is pretty tough, he’s a good wrestler.”
Thompson (53-3) had a 1-0 lead in the first period, but Hawthorne outscored him 6-2 in the final two periods.
Hawthorne’s fibulas formed without muscles and nerves, which led to two amputations — the first before he was three months old and the second two years ago — and left Hawthorne with nothing below his knees. He walks on man-made limbs attached to his “nubs”, and wrestles with nothing below the remnants of his lower limbs.
Hawthorne had a torn labrum and the second amputation as a sophomore. He bounced back to finish third last year in the state meet before claiming the championship this year.
He has gone through approximately 20 sets of prosthetics over the years — including snapping them while sliding into second base in a baseball game — and stands close to 6-5 when wearing them.
Before the state meet, Hawthorne said, “I don’t think I’ve made a name for myself on the national level yet… I still feel like I have unfinished business to do.”
With this piece of business finished, he’s going to strive for more.
“I plan to go to nationals and then in college,” he told AL.com Saturday, “but I don’t know where yet.”