9th grader inspires teammates
Balance is one of the fundamentals elements of wrestling. Now imagine searching for your balance on just one leg.
That's the situation Wilson Central ninth grader Tyler Jones finds himself in every match after losing part of his right leg to cancer when he was four years old.
Having just wrapped up his first season of competitive wrestling, Jones is more than comfortable on the mat. In fact, he went 5-4 in varsity competition and placed second in the Harpeth High Varsity Tournament at 106 pounds.
"For a while, I didn't quite know where my balance was," Jones said, "but then I started to catch on."
Catch on he certainly did -- as Jones placed second in the junior varsity state tournament earlier this month.
"Tyler works with our assistant coaches after practice, he's always looking to get better," said WCHS wrestling coach John Kramer.
"He's got a good mental attitude, he's always smiling. I think he's going to go far in this sport. He loves it and he'll do anything you ask of him."
Tyler goes all out in practice and gets no special treatment from the coaches or other wrestlers.
"If he's wearing his prosthetic when we're sprinting, he's faster than most of our guys," Kramer said. "Without it -- he hopped down and back -- beating several."
Kramer remarked that Jones was quickly accepted as a member of the squad and that teammates love him.
"I work out a lot with Grant Fetters (106) and Sean Sesnan (120)," Jones said. "I'm trying to learn as much as I can from everybody. The whole team has helped me a lot."
One might suspect Tyler has helped and inspired his teammates as well.