It would be an accomplishment for any 16-year-old to make the varsity football team. But for 16-year-old Damon Hodges, making his high school football team was nothing short of amazing. Damon made the Liberty High School (Oh.) varsity football team despite being a double amputee.
The sophomore was born without fully developed legs and feet because the umbilical cord wrapped around his legs causing devastating injuries. The condition forced doctors to amputate both of Damon’s legs below the knee when he was only 2-years-old.
“When I was born, my twin brother died, and I had twisted feet, basically club feet, so when I was two, I had them amputated. And I’ve been wearing prosthetics since I was two,” Hodges said.
Many said Hodges would never walk again. Damon proved them wrong because he is not only walking, but he is walking on the field as a defensive end for his high school football team.
Thanks to his determination and two carbon graphite prostheses, Damon is playing football. Before he was cleared to play football, the state athletic association had to approve Damon’s carbon graphite prosthetics for him. In late August, Hodges got the approval to take the field and he is eligible for the rest of his high school career.
— Liberty Leopards FB (@LibertyLeops_FB) September 5, 2016
Standing at 6′3″ and weighing in at 165 lbs, Damon is one of the most popular players on the team.
“I want our players to do things the right way and I have never had a player want something as bad as Damon when it comes to his desire to play football,” Damon’s coach Chet Allen said. “He understood what he needed to do academically in order to realize his dream, then went out and made that dream come true. He’s a hard worker, has the heart and now he’s developing a football sense.”
We are rooting for Damon to be a force on the field this year and the coming years.