You can call Woods Cross (Utah) senior Sasha Prosence a lot of things -- student-athlete, groundbreaking wrestler, dual citizen -- just don't call him disabled.
"The support of my team and their commitment to practice has helped me go far," Prosence told the Salt Lake Tribune. "But I'm just walking in the path others have other set for me. I want to be known as a great wrestler. I don't think of myself as the wrestler with one leg."According to the Tribune, Prosence has emerged as a legitimate state title contender, despite having jut one leg. The Russian-born Prosence was born without his right leg, the tragic result of a failed attempted abortion which was designed to save Prosence's mother, who had fallen ill with serious anemia just three months into the pregnancy.
Because he was born without a leg, Prosence said he never considers himself disabled, instead positing the reality that his life is the only one he has ever known. Rather, he always focused on how he can use his "disability" as an advantage.
Yet the senior struggled in prior years to compete against "able-bodied" wrestlers, who could use their legs for leverage and in a variety of traditional wrestling moves. Instead of giving up on the sport, Prosence spent the summer at the Mesa State Wrestling Camp in Arizona, which happens to be hosted by All-American Arizona State wrestler Anthony Robles ... who happens to compete with just one leg himself.
Prosence worked tirelessly with Robles for hours a day, perfecting an entire portfolio of unique maneuvers designed to accommodate a one-legged body.
Armed with his new tactical nous, Prosence has exploded on to the scene in his final high school season, winning the 103-pound title at the regional championships and finishing fourth in the class at the well-respected Rocky Mountain Rumble. With an additional 10 solid pounds on his frame, Prosence could even have a future at the collegiate level.
For now, he's focused on a run at what would be a historic state title, which would require him to upset two of the three wrestlers who have defeated him this season. "It'd be cool to continue to break down that barrier," Prosence told the Tribune.
His coach, for one, is convinced the one-legged phenom can pull off the groundbreaking feat.
"He definitely gained confidence in [his summer workouts] and is using it now," Woods Cross coach Mason Milligand told the Tribune. "He's just taken it to another level."