7th grader with cerebral palsy inspires middle school wrestling teammates

CNN Newsource Pristine Villarreal

PLAISTOW, New Hampshire (WMUR) — Amid the chaos at wrestling practice, Scott Murphy doesn’t want to be anywhere else.

Murphy is the heart of the Timberlane Middle School program.

“You come in and you see his smile, and no matter what’s going on in your day, you see Scott having a great time and out there, and it’s OK,” said Tyler Fitzpatrick, the Timberlane Middle School wrestling coach.

Murphy has cerebral palsy, which impacts the ability to move and maintain balance.

Since first stepping on the mat this season, Murphy has been pinning down all obstacles and inspiring his teammates.

“They were like, ‘You can do this, you can do this,’” Murphy said. “They would keep saying that every day of the practice. They would cheer me on and everything.”

Don’t get it twisted, though; the seventh grader is here to win.

“First meet that we had, I won,” Murphy said.

“He’s had a couple wins. A couple loses, so he’s working hard, fighting through some positions,” Fitzpatrick said. “You’ve got to fight through some stuff and learn. It’s hard your first year wrestling.”

When walking inside the gym, you can’t help but notice Murphy’s smile. That’s because when on the mat surrounded by all his teammates, he’s found a safe space to be a part of a team and enjoy a sport that he loves.

“When I have my match, all my teammates come over the mat that I’m wrestling on,” Murphy said. “You can choose not to come on that mat, but they all do. I don’t ask them to. They just come.”

“Just his positivity. Pushing through different challenges and different things,” Fitzpatrick said. “Showing us and reminding us that no matter what you’re dealt with in life, you can always persevere and push through.”

Murphy wants to compete in high school, too. With his mentality in life and on the mat, there’s no doubt he can make it happen.

“He’s loved it so far, so hopefully, we’ll keep him around and keep training,” Fitzpatrick said.

“Some people, when they lose, they get angry or have an emotion. I don’t. I just take it. It is what it is,” Murphy said. “Just push through. Just push through it.”

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