Clanton native proud of son’s wrestling success

Published 3:57 pm Friday, March 4, 2016

Hawthorne finished his final high school season with an undefeated record of 37-0. (Contributed Photo by Danny Joiner / @MarkDJoiner)

Hawthorne finished his final high school season with an undefeated record of 37-0. (Contributed Photo by Danny Joiner / @MarkDJoiner)

By Jessa Pease and Anthony Richards |

Felecia Hawthorne grew up in Clanton and attended Chilton County High School. Years later, she lives in Shelby County and has a son who is a double amputee and was recently crowned a state champion wrestler.

“I am beyond proud of Hasaan because of his character,” Felecia Hawthorne said. “What makes me most proud of him in sports and in life in general is that he does not give in to fear and he never quits. He understands the value and balance of hard work and having fun.”

Watching their children play sports can be a nerve-racking experience for most parents. This is no different for Hawthorne, who has certain feelings that take place before every match.

“He’s been through so much growing up as a bilateral amputee, such as learning abilities, honing his strengths and proving others wrong,” Hawthorne said. “I just think of how happy I am for him that he can express himself fully by doing something he loves.”

Hawthorne was born and raised in Clanton and lived there until she graduated from high school and went away to college at Alabama State University.

According to Hawthorne, she had a great upbringing surrounded by supportive family and friends and has looked to instill a similar atmosphere for Hasaan.

“I pray, then I sit and watch him put in the work,” Felecia Hawthorne said. “I think of how prepared he is, then I trust God’s outcome. Of course I want him to win, but I also believe there’s something to be learned if he doesn’t. “

When wrestling season began at Pelham High School, senior Hasaan Hawthorne knew he wanted to win the state championship. The double amputee wrestler took third in state the previous year, and said he wanted to step up on that podium as the 6A champion.

Not only did Hawthorne accomplish this ambitious feat, but he also finished his final season with an undefeated record of 37-0 and was named the 6A Most Valuable Player at the state meet.

“It was crazy. I didn’t know what to think,” Hasaan Hawthorne said, looking back at his winning moment. “It’s weird when you work for something for so long, when you get to it you don’t know what to do next. So it was just a weird and fun and cool moment.”

Although Hawthorne went into the 6A Championship tournament with an undefeated record, he said he didn’t let it put any pressure on him.

After witnessing a friend go undefeated last year and then lose it at state, Hawthorne said he the record wasn’t on his mind at all.

“Coach told me just to go one match at a time and get on and off the mat as soon as possible,” he said.

Hawthorne started the match against Trevor Muncey of Gardendale, beating him with an 8-0 decision. After a 9-3 decision win over Justin Carty of Clay-Chalkville High School, Hawthorne made the semifinals.

His win over Landon Thompson of Southside-Gadsden in the finals of the 145-pound class gave Hawthorne claim to the state title via a 7-3 decision.

His last thoughts before earning his title, Hawthorne said, were “this is my last high school match, so let’s go out with a bang.”

“I had to take it in,” Hawthorne said. “After I won, I celebrated and stuff, but it still really hasn’t sunk in yet.”

While claiming an individual state title, being recognized as Most Valuable Player and finishing his season undefeated were all high points, Hawthorne said having fun with his friends was his favorite part of his last season.

If scholarships or future opportunities become available, Hawthorne said he’d like to continue wrestling.

“It’s great just to see all that he’s been through from all the different sports he’s played,” Felecia Hawthorne said. “This one in particular, he really wanted to win state. He first started talking about it several years ago. I always believed he could do it, and it’s just been cool just to be a witness to it.”