Independence wrestling teammates remain ‘Hunter Strong' - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Independence wrestling teammates remain ‘Hunter Strong'


A young wrestler injured in a match last weekend is getting the support of his team and community as he recovers.

Independence High School wrestler Hunter Garstin was competing in Huntsville, AL, last weekend when he suffered a spinal cord injury.

He had to undergo surgery in Huntsville and is now at the Sheperd Center in Atlanta to begin rehab.

"The wins and losses and practices and dealing with kids getting in trouble at school, all that stuff is easy compared to this," said Independence wrestling coach Jared Grindstaff. "There was no manual for this."

Several of his coaches and teammates have been able to visit Garstin at the hospital in Huntsville.

They said they've rallied around Hunter, united by the phrase "Hunter Strong."

"It was powerful getting to see Hunter and talk to him," said senior teammate Tyler Fitzgerald. "He's in good spirits. He's got a positive outlook on the whole thing."

The Independence team has a tournament Saturday in Louisville.

His teammates plan to Facetime the matches so that Hunter can watch from rehab.

"We want to show Hunter that we're fighting for him and that we're going to be here doing our best," said teammate Robbie Allen. "We want to show him what team he is a part of."

If you would like to follow Hunter's recovery, there has been a Facebook page created called "Prayers for Hunter Garstin." The page has already garnered nearly 12,000 likes.

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