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"He's a great kid, works hard and sure doesn't let his disabilities hold him back," said Woodlan wrestling Coach Tony Girod of a member of his varsity squad.
Girod was referring to sophomore Nic Hoot, who wrestles at 113 pounds — despite his lack of a left foot, a lower right leg (from the knee) and some fingers.
Nic was born in Russia without the extremities, apparently caused by a botched abortion.
He was adopted by Marvin and April Hoot, who live near the Woodlan school. The Hoots are a special family, as over the years they've adopted seven or eight children "from all over the world, all with special needs," Girod said.
Wrestling at 106 pounds last year, Hoot posted a 17-10 record and was a Regional qualifier. "He was tough to beat," Girod emphasized. The youngster participated in basketball and football in the grades, but eventually gave up those sports and now concentrates on wrestling.