MARION, S.C. - In 2011, Anthony Robles garnered national media attention when the one-legged wrestler captured a national championship at Arizona State. His story inspired Marion's Kevin Grant to chase his own dream of winning on the mat. Grant, who was born without a left leg, captured the Class 1A/2A 145 pound state championship at the Anderson Civic Center.
Grant was named Most Outstanding Wrestler in Class 1A/2A after his come from 12-11 win over Indian Land's Rondale Truesdale in the state championship match. Grant closed out his senior season with a 37-5 record and said he was brought to tears when the crowd pulled behind him during his final high school match. "It's very wonderful," Grant said. "I'm lost for words, it's very wonderful, I can tell you that."
His pre-match routine is warming up with his prosthetic leg and running and stretching just like every other athlete on the mat. When it comes time for the match, he removes his leg. "Once he's on the mat, it's him against his opponent and it's wrestling, it's all about the sport," Marion wrestling coach Michael Steinbar said. "One thing Kevin has, you can't coach heart. He's got one of the biggest hearts on the team."
The entire Marion community has rallied around Grant and are celebrating his state crown. "He's got a lot of fans that have been following him since day one. I go to a lot of different places around town and people are always asking about him," three time All-State wrestler Di'Ontrey Gibbons said. "It's truly a blessing. I actually look up to him and we're the same age."
Just like Robles inspired the Marion state champ, Grant hopes that he can provide hope for anyone that's in a similar situation. "Set a goal, accomplish it, and don't let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do," Kevin said. "No matter what the situation is, work hard and good things happen."
Robles saw Kevin's story via Twitter and passed along his congratulations.
Anthony Robles retweeted
I hope @ARobles125 sees the story of Marion's Kevin Grant to see how he influenced and inspired an athlete. youtube.com/watch?v=2129kfâ?¦
tell him I said congratulations, that's awesome!!