More Than a Conqueror: Virginia’s High School Wrestling Champion Never Gives Up
Have you ever had one of those moments when you feel like you cannot go on? Does the situation you are facing seem impossible to overcome? Are you just too tired and weary to face the enemy of your soul one more time? Maybe it’s time to give up, give in, and retreat to fight another day.
The fact is, we have all been there at the point of defeat. But God’s truth trumps the facts in every situation. As the Bible tells us in Romans 8:36, “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” And dozens of other verses in His Word teach us that the battle belongs to the Lord. So, truthfully, we are never defeated if we belong to Christ.
But if you ever doubted the truth of that verse, then meet Adonis Lattimore.
This 17-year-old senior from Landstown High School recently achieved something very few high schoolers will ever accomplish. On February 19, Adonis took first place in Virginia’s Class 6 wrestling competition. In fact, nationally, the United States has more than 21,000 high school wrestling teams with almost 250,000 athletes competing in multiple weight divisions.
In Virginia alone, more than 200 schools have varsity boys’ wrestling teams competing across their state. And according to Max Preps, 63 of the state’s Class 6A schools participated in scholastic wrestling. Of multiple members from those 63 teams, only 13 other Class 6A wrestlers besides Adonis took home state championship titles in 2022.
So, yes, Adonis Lattimore succeeded in winning out over thousands of other state high school athletes. His wrestling championship is an astonishing statistical feat, one that most high school kids around the nation only dream of accomplishing.
But get this … Adonis fought his way to the winner’s podium without legs. Yep, you read that correctly. Adonis Lattimore, Virginia’s 2022 Class 6A Wrestling Champion, was born with no right leg, a small portion of a left leg, and only one finger on his right hand. So, basically, Adonis wrestles and wins with only one hand.
Wow. How amazing!
But when you talk to Adonis’ parents, Jerrold and Demetra, it is quickly evident that he gets his fighting spirit honestly. From the moment their son was born, they knew beyond a doubt that God had big plans for their son.
“What I felt God was saying to us was,” said Jerrold, “if God doesn’t make mistakes, and we are made in his image, then Adonis was perfectly and wonderfully made in God’s image.
“God chose us to be his parents for a reason. So, from that day going forth, we just put it in God’s hands and said, ‘This is what He wanted.’”
And though the road was not easy for Adonis and his family, they knew that God would guide them and their son all along the path. Amazingly, that path led the Lattimore family to a wrestling mat by the time Adonis was in the second grade.
Ever since then, Adonis has been a force to reckon with on the wrestling mat, even with no legs and only one functioning arm. But according to his parents, coaches, teammates, and opponents, the greatest attribute that Adonis displays when he is on that mat is his refusal to feel sorry for himself or ever give up. For Adonis, there is never an excuse to quit. His goal is always to wrestle … and win.
“We’ve never allowed Adonis to feel sorry for himself,” explained his father. “So, he gets really upset when people try to treat him differently or single him out because of his condition.”
His father added, “When you say you can’t, he’s the reason why you can.”
Take the last wrestling competition of Adonis’ high school career as an example.
In the semi-final round, time was running out, and Adonis was behind one point. In fact, it looked like his high-school wrestling career might be finished. But Adonis refused to give up, and in the last 7 seconds, he took down his opponent and earned the two points needed to advance to the tournament finals.
In that final match against Korlan Tran, Adonis wasted no time in defeating his last opponent 5-1 to take home the coveted state championship in the Class 6A, 106-pound division. It was the perfect end to his high school wrestling record of 32 wins and only 6 losses.
Needless to say, the crowd went wild, and they continued to cheer as Adonis ascended the podium to assume the winner’s spot.
Since then, multiple media sites have reported on Adonis’s championship wrestling feat. And like me, people from around the world are absolutely amazed at what Adonis Lattimore accomplished with no legs and only one arm. He truly is a remarkable young man.
But his parents knew that all along. They knew it from the moment he was born. They knew it on the good days and the hard days, the days it would have been easier to give in and give up. And they always knew that their son was much more than an accident or sad statistic.
"What we understood,” said Jerrold, “is that there is a greater calling on Adonis's life that’s beyond what we could imagine.
“We also knew this wasn’t just our story,” he added. “But this was our story to share.”
And that is exactly what Jerrold and Demetra did and what they continue to do. They share the story of their son as he fulfills the purpose and calling of God on his life despite all odds. Yes, they share the story of Adonis Lattimore, who truly is more than a conqueror.