Iowa High School Wrestler with One Leg Qualifies for State Tournament
Ten years ago, Kobey Pritchard lost a leg to bone cancer. Three years ago, he started wrestling. This week, he'll compete in the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament.
Kobey Pritchard lost his right leg to Ewing's Sarcoma just after his sixth birthday. He readily admitted to KCCI that having only one leg has slowed him down quite a bit. It certainly hasn't stopped him, though. Pritchard says he doesn't like to lose, and he's been winning ever since life dealt him such a cruel blow as a young kid. He swims, plays baseball, and wrestles, all without a prosthetic.
Yesterday, at the 3A district tournament in Johnston, Pritchard advanced to the state tournament at 106 pounds by pinning Nate Kahoe of Des Moines-Lincoln. The championship match lasted only 34-seconds. Pritchard now moves on to this week's Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament where his 32-5 record has him on the bracket's top line. He wrestles Jacob Close of Epworth-Western Dubuque in the opening round Thursday afternoon in Des Moines. Kobey, who wrestles for Indianola, will have plenty of fans rooting for him inside and outside of Wells Fargo Arena.
Among Kobey's idols is former Arizona State wrestler Anthony Robles. Robles was born with only one leg and five years ago became a national champion when he defeated Iowa's Matt McDonough in the NCAA finals at 125-pounds. The emotion at the end of the match still gets me to this day:
Kobey Pritchard's wrestling goal is to be a 4-time national champion and he'd love to wrestle for the Iowa Hawkeyes. First things first. Kobey is only a sophomore and could be a 3-time Iowa state champion. Anyone who doubts him would be making a very large mistake.
[UPDATE 2/21/16] Kobey finished fifth in Class 3A at 106 pounds in the 2016 Iowa State High School Wrestling Tournament.