One-armed Claremore wrestler nearing state qualification

Friday evening at the 5A Oklahoma High School Wrestling East Regional, a win for Claremore High School junior Parker Price in the 138 pound semifinal would guarantee one of the four spots for the state tournament. For those who know Price, his talents and work ethic would make this achievement seem inevitable.

But one summer afternoon in 2015 changed everything. "We were at the lake for my dad's birthday," Price recalled. "I was wake boarding while my sister and brother were tubing.

"It was late in the day and the water was smooth so I tried to jump onto her tube but my arm got caught in the rope. And when it tightened, it cut off my arm."

Losing his right hand and much of his forearm, Parker's life changed forever. But to the surprise of his family and friends, Price's attitude and positive outlook appeared unscathed.

"And right away, as soon as he was ready to go again, he came into the room and... it was like he never missed a beat," Claremore head coach Chad Willard recalled.

"He was adamant that he was going to be back in wrestling," Parker's father Craig Price explained. "He was [also] going to be a national champion wakeboarder. Until he found out somebody with one arm had already done that."

Even after retraining all of his daily life skills as a left-hander, Parker may have been "shorthanded." But he has never acted like he was "shortchanged."

Coach Willard said, "The first time he lost to a kid I know we would've beaten with two arms, I asked him if he was thinking about whether you would have beat the kid if you had two arms?

Parker told his coach it never crossed his mind. He asked, "Why would I think that that way? It doesn't do any good."

Parker Price didn't qualify for the state tournament that night. But with the positive attitude and the support of the Claremore community, everyone agreed on one thing: Parker Price has already pinned adversity.

"Don't dwell on it," he said. "Because it's not coming back. So might as well think positive's."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off