INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Lawrence North wrestler with cerebral palsy surprised everyone last week when he weighed in for the first time and walked to the center of the ring.
Alex Welch is a freshman at Lawrence North High School. He was born premature at 25 weeks.
Welch is very passionate about wrestling, and he’s been a manager for the wrestling team since middle school. His mother Antoinette Welch said he was worried about going into high school, but the wrestling team welcomed him with open arms. They tell him he’s just as much a part of the team as everyone else, and he travels to every match with them.
Antoinette says it’s very heartwarming to watch all of the other young men on the team help him on and off the bus and help him with his wheelchair.
In the past month, Antoinette said Alex has been working hard at practicing walking, and he’s even been asking to go to extra physical therapy. She said she thought it was odd because usually he hates going to physical therapy, but it all made sense last Wednesday during Lawrence North’s rivalry match against Lawrence Central.
Alex’s family was in the stands waiting for the match to start when they were surprised to see him come out in a wrestling singlet. And then they were even more surprised when he got out of his wheelchair and walked to the center of the ring. Antoinette says she burst into tears.
She said teammates helped him get dressed in the singlet, and they let him borrow wrestling shoes.
Antoinette tweeted out a video from the match, and it’s gotten thousands of views.