VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WTKR)- Doubt Adonis Lattimore at your own risk. The Landstown High School senior has been wrestling since he was in second grade and has put in the time to climb to the top.
"At one point I was on a losing streak for about a year," Lattimore recalled. "Sometime in middle school I hit my stride and brought it into high school."
"I definitely was like 'I'll get this, this isn't going to be too bad,'" remembered teammate Kristopher Velez of the first time he wrestled Lattimore back when both were in elementary school. "Then I went out there and he grabbed me and I couldn't move."
The Eagle senior was born with no right leg and a left leg that ends at about the middle of the thigh. He has one fully-functioning arm, but he makes up for it with a fully functioning heart and work ethic. He's widely considered one of the best in the state at his 106 lbs weight class.
"He is one of the strongest people I know, especially being 106" noted Velez. "He's scary strong."
"I see myself being able to win a lot more close matches," Lattimore said about his improvement. "I'm really able to break open matches that are once close. I've really gotten tough on top."
The senior grappler has made quite a name for himself. He has the support of not only his team, but of the community and other teams and fan-bases as well.
"That's been amazing," smiled Lattimore. "It's really a great community that's been behind me this whole time with training, support."
"Any school you go to, everybody knows Adonis, everybody loves him," said Landstown senior Thomas Keyes. "I think part of that is he's got a great personality. He's always smiling."
The end of high school will likely not be the end of Lattimore's wrestling career, as he hopes to continue competing at the college level. Before his days at Landstown are finished, however, he wants to assert himself as the best in Virginia.
"My goal is to win a state [championship] this year," he said.
"People tend to struggle with him a lot," Velez pointed out. "Getting as good as he is, he's improving rapidly, it's very possible."
He's never complaining and always inspiring, whether it's those inside the Eagles' wrestling room or perhaps people who are questioning their own abilities to overcome adversity.
"'My toe's hurting today.' Look over at Adonis. Come on dude," said Landstown head coach James Sanderlin. "He is very inspirational."
"It doesn't really matter who you are or how you're born. You can really do anything you really put your mind to," the senior said.
Lattimore entered Friday with a 22-5 record. The Eagles compete in a multi-team wrestling meet on Friday at Ocean Lakes.