Wrestler with dwarfism is motivated by respect

Posted at 7:16 PM, Jan 27, 2016

For Cuyahoga Heights sophomore David Stankiewicz, his desire to pursue high school wrestling is not about being unafraid to be different. It is about respect.

“I just want respect because when I was younger I did not have the biggest respect because of my size,” Stankiewicz told

David is smaller than most of his peers.

“It is (called) Dwarfism,” David explained. “I am usually shorter than the average person.”

This year he decided to come out for the wrestling team.

“I can’t do everything like everyone else but I can do it in a different way,” David explained.

When David steps on the mat he proves just because you are different it does not mean you can’t be part of a team.

“I look at him like I look at my drill partner. I drill with him sometimes,” said freshman teammate Brandon Meade. “He is just a great guy.”

David is early in his wrestling career and currently has an 0-2 record but his coach, Sean Pellerite, said he has a bright future.

Pellerite explained, “David is going to be a winner. It  is not reflected in his record yet but it will be because really he is determined.”

David has earned the respect of other but in his effort to so he has learned it is most important to respect yourself.

“Care about yourself before you care about what everyone else thinks,” David said emphatically. “I am strong individually mentally and physically, that is just who I am."


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