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Rutland student with autism pins down disorder with wrestling

For Gunner Cummings, a Rutland Hurricane with autism, wrestling has been a tool to help him pin down his disorder.

MACON, Ga. — Sports touch all of us differently. They teach us lessons and help us overcome trials.

For Gunner Cummings, a Rutland Hurricane with autism, wrestling has been a tool to help him pin down his disorder.

Certain things don't come easy to Cummings.

”I have a problem with my emotions and I can't always tell what the tone is,” Cummings said.

The sophomore hurricane has autism, but he has found something to help him put the beat down on the disorder – the sport of wrestling.

“It's easy for me to understand,” he said. “It gets the frustration out of you and it's fun.”

Cummings says he began wrestling in eighth grade and initially had his doubts, but now he says he's confident when on the mat.

“Gunner's a breath of fresh air. He's never in a bad mood. He's the first one on the mat when someone has a match,” head coach Walter Pritchard said. "Whether they do good or bad he's the first one to congratulate them or console them."

Pritchard says he has yet to find anything Cummings hasn't been able to achieve in the gym.

“I haven't seen him not able to do anything yet. Whether it be in class, or on the wrestling mat that we put in front of him, he does it,” he said.

If you ask Cummings, he'll tell you it's all thanks to his teammates. He says they're patient with him and are always excited for him, especially when he got his first ever win.

“My whole entire team was just so all around the mat. My mom tried to take a video, but she couldn't. My team is was just all around the thing,” he said.

Cummings says there's nothing like being a part of the team.


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