Diminutive stature and all, powerful little person leading Winnetonka wrestling to success

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Size isn't everything.

That adage sums up a star wrestler at one Northland high school, where everyone's talking about a small athlete with big power.

When the star in the wrestling room at Winnetonka High School stands, some say his talent towers the tallest. Senior grappler JaShawn Walker, who began wrestling only three years ago, stands at only 4-foot-5.

He's a little person, but he wears out other wrestlers. And so far this season, he's found 26 victories on the mat, mostly against wrestlers at least a foot taller than he is.

"You really can't blame it on anyone else while you're out there on the mat. If you lose, it's on you," Walker said.

Walker wrestles in the 113-pound weight class. According to his coaches, the muscle in Walker's legs, as well as the drive in his heart, have made him the school's strongest athlete, pound-for-pound. Walker's classmates also named him Prom King back in the fall.

"It's a sport where you find your advantages to get into positions where you can wrestle well. He's powerful," said Ryan Lowry, Griffins wrestling coach. " He's able to get inside and lift people up off their feet. He can score from those positions."

"Even though he gets beat down sometimes, he just keeps coming. He'll come back stronger each match. He just keeps learning," said John Murray, another Winnetonka wrestler.

Walker is fairly new to wrestling, but he's proving to be so good that he'll attend Arkansas Baptist College on a wrestling scholarship next year.

Walker said he loves it when his competitors underestimate his potential. When the match is over, they know what he's capable of.

"You can do anything. You just have to put your mind to it. Don't let anyone stop you from what you want to do," Walker added.

No matter his height, this wrestler's ability has him miles ahead.

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