This season, Anthony Robles put the final stamp on a remarkable wrestling career at Mesa High School by winning the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) title at 112 lbs.
With that victory, Robles became the first disabled wrestler to win a title at the NHSCA national championships.
And, on April 20, he stepped on a professional baseball mound at Chase Field, propped himself on his crutches, and threw out the first pitch before the Arizona Diamondbacks game with the San Francisco Giants.
That had to be some kind of a first in baseball as well.
Born with just one leg, Robles dominated high school wrestling during his junior and senior years at Mesa HS, posting a 96-0 record and two state titles. The 9-1 victory in the NHSCA finals capped off a perfect senior season (53-0), made especially impressive when you consider the NHSCA invites only high school seniors who have already won state titles. So Robles won against a field of state champions.
During his four-year high school career, Robles compiled a 131-15 record and won two Arizona state titles. He was named the Class 5A Most Outstanding Wrestler at this year’s state tournament and was also selected for the Arizona Republic Wrestler of the Year.
A young man with a dogged determination and eternally optimistic outlook on life, he told reporters after winning his state title: “I think God game me a gift by only giving me one leg. Other people may not see it that way, but I do.”