I can’t play football worth a darn using both of my arms. I wouldn’t have started for my high school football team if I had three arms, and I would have needed five arms to play for TCU.
Chance Anthony needed just one arm to be awarded the 2011 High School Football Rudy Award, named for the most inspirational high school football player in America.
Anthony caught his first career touchdown pass on homecoming night. He benchpresses 235 pounds and has been a two-year starter for Breckinridge County High School in Hardinsburg, Ky. Anthony was born with his right arm ending just below his elbow.
“One hand or not, you can still catch a football and still catch a basketball,” Anthony said during a Fox 41 interview.
“Sometimes my friends forget I’ve only got one hand. I do as much as anyone else at school. It’s how you deal with adversity that counts.”
Some students may remember TCU placekicker Drew Combs, who received the 2008 College Football Rudy Award. Combs was born with a left arm that ended just below his elbow.
Combs started every game the last two seasons for the Frogs and recorded three tackles in his career as the placekicker. He recorded a career-best eight touchbacks in 2008.
Anthony and Combs aren’t the only athletes deserving of such recognition, but they are great examples.
The runner-up to Anthony for the Rudy Award was paralyzed in a car accident when he was five years old. He was wheeled onto the field, where he then dragged himself into a defensive line position and plugged the middle of the line to make a difference on the field.
The second runner-up, Tray Waite, lost his mother in a car accident, his grandmother to cancer and his father to jail time. He mustered a 3.8 GPA while excelling on the football field.
With the dedication, work ethic and perseverance it must have taken to get so far on a competitive athletic level without two hands, paralysis or a childhood without parents, it’s hard to wonder where these young men could have gone had they been blessed with what so many of us take for granted.
So med blessings to be collegiate and professional athletes and role models?
It’s just a thought.
More on the “Rudy Award”
The award is named after the University of Notre Dame’s inspirational walk-on, Daniel “Rudy’ Ruettiger, who inspired the film Rudy.
The award is designated by a selection committee which consists of former athletes and sports personalities, including former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe; Leigh Anne Yuohy, mother of Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher, who inspired the film The Blind Side; former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander; and NBC sideline reporter Andrea Kremer.