I grew up as a wrestler in Pennsylvania, where the sport is the closest thing to a modern day religion. Watching as head coach Cael Sanderson and the Penn State wrestling team won eight of the last nine NCAA team national championships is just the icing on top for a sport I'll always support, but even all of that success pales in comparison to what a 7-year-old boy named Nick Trotter is doing with the Macomb Little Bombers wrestling team.
Born in the Ukraine without feet and missing his left hand, Nick was adopted by Chris and Mindy Trotter in the fall of 2013 to join their family and three other siblings. He's just like your typical young kid who loves to play sports and be outside, but Nick may have found his calling as a wrestler, and he's proving it on the mat.
KHQA News in Illinois met Nick and his parents during one of his first tournaments in early February 2018. Nick loves to play baseball, swim and do Jiu-Jitsu, but after scoring several wins in his first few matches and taking first place in just his third wrestling tournament, Nick is already seeing his skill grow with every win.
Mindy Trotter, Nick's mother, told FanBuzz that he's even given himself a few 'fight names' like "Nick-torious" and "Nick-nado." Clearly, Nick doesn't lack any confidence at such a young age.
His childhood love and compassion isn't lost in a couple of wins, though. Mindy said that after winning his match in Springfield, Illinois, Nick felt bad that his opponent was crying afterwards and said if he wrestled him again, Nick would let him win.
Mrs. Trotter told us that Shriners Hospital in St. Louis develops special prosthetics for Nick, the most recent of which even have Marvel superhero The Flash on them because "He wants to be fast!"
"I fell like I am like a king," he told KHQA. "I feel like I'm really good at wrestling."
Nick wrestles in shoes that are specifically made for dogs, but the family hopes to get in contact with someone who can design shoes to fit Nick a little better. Also, the Macomb Little Bombers have been fundraising to purchase new singlets, some of which are even 20 years old, so if you're able to help out in any way, please reach out to the team on their Facebook page.
Seeing Nick wrestle with a big smile on his face and scoring a few wins is heartwarming to the maximum degree. With older wrestling parents and coaches congratulating him and seeing how much his younger teammates respond to his success, Nick's future is brighter than ever. The best example of Nick's positivity, however, is what he says about his disability.
"Kids ask him all the time, 'What happened?' And he'll say, 'Well God made me this way,'" Chris Trotter said, pausing for a moment. "He's just an amazing kid."
If any of us have half as much heart as this little Illinois boy, there's absolutely no reason why we can't accomplish anything we truly have a passion for.
This article was originally published February 14, 2019.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.