High School Sports

Cerebral palsy hasn’t stopped Justin Northwest’s Hunter Wallace from inspiring others

Northwest senior Hunter Wallace
Northwest senior Hunter Wallace Twitter Screenshot

Justin Northwest senior Hunter Wallace has lived with cerebral palsy his entire life. He was born three months premature and weighted two pounds.

But that hasn’t stopped Wallace from being a captain for the wrestling team or even lifting weights. In a video that has gone viral, Wallace is shown doing squats in the school’s weight room.

“I feel like a big celebrity right now since it went viral, but I also feel like a huge inspiration to all the people that viewed it,” Wallace said.

Northwest wrestling coach Jessica Fresh tweeted the video on Feb. 28. As of Monday, it had 300 retweets, over 1,700 likes and over 44,000 views. MaxPreps even picked up the video and gained another 16,000 views.

“I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised when I saw the view’s on my coach’s Twitter page and couldn’t believe it,” Wallace said. “Then it kept going up. It’s amazing I’ve touched so many people’s lives that I don’t even know. You can do whatever you set your heart and mind to even with challenges in your life.”

Wallace had so many surgeries growing up, he lost count. He had to use a walker until the seventh grade.

“I got rid of it. I told my mom and dad I’m done with it and didn’t want it anymore,” he said. “I’m truly grateful and blessed from the man upstairs to be where I’m at right now.”

The Texans wrapped up UIL wrestling on Feb. 22 in Cypress. Aiden Jean won the 5A boys title in the 182-pound weight class while Madison Brown finished third in the girls 102-pound weight class.

“One of the biggest things that’s happened in my life was being called a team captain,” Wallace said. “I put so much heart into getting that. I was so pumped when it finally happened. I like being an inspiration for my team and showing them even though you go through adversity in your life, you can push through and defeat it, and achieve success in whatever you do.”

Wallace has big plans for after high school. He plans to take a year off to get hand controls to make driving easier and to get a job to save money for college.

“After the year and I have my basics, I want to go to UT-Austin to study sports marketing,” he said. “UT has one of the best sport marketing programs in the country. I would also love to do something with NASCAR in the future.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.