MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Tag: West Johnston High School

  • From the Charlotte, N.C., area comes one of the more impressive stories we have seen during the winter season.

    West Johnston (Benson, N.C.) wrestler Zach Morrison has turned in a season that has exceeded expectations, considering all that he has overcome on and off the mat.

    Morrison, a junior, has been diagnosed as autistic.

    Wrestling in the 195-pound weight class in his first varsity season, Morrison has fashioned a 21-18 record with 17 pins and is in line for a berth in the upcoming regionals. Aside from the competition, the sport has helped him in other ways since he started competing as a freshman.

    "Being a wrestler made me communicate with people better," Morrison told the News & Observer. "And it has helped me make a lot more friends. It has helped me talk to people better and have better conversations with others than I ever could before."

    Morrison originally decided to participate because he liked watching professional wrestling on TV. According to his coach, Morrison's autism also has helped him excel on the mat.

    "He doesn't like to be touched, but he feeds off the pressure applied to him in certain places," coach David Prendergast told the newspaper. "He will look like he's slowing down or stopping, but what he is doing is trying to feel which way to go. He just has that uncanny sense of pressure and an awareness when he is on the mat."