Double-Amputee Football Player ‘Motivates and Inspires’ Okla. High School Teammates

Joe Martel III

Playing football, even at the high school level, takes a lot of tenacity and willpower. 

Joe Martel III, who happens to have prosthetic legs, has tenacity and willpower in spades.


According to MaxPreps, the freshman is a defensive lineman for his high school in Beggs, Okla., and is already having a huge impact on his team. 

"When one of our kids feels like they're having a bad day, they look over at Joe and see that smile, see his work ethic. Man, it really motivates and inspires our kids," head coach Lee Blankenship told the news site.

Joe, who has played football since he was a small child, tells MaxPreps that he likes the contact on the field. Joe was born with tibial hemimelia, meaning that he was born without his shinbones. 

"I was born without a tibia in my bones," Joe told the site. "I had my legs and feet. If they wouldn't have amputated my legs, I wouldn't have been able to play football."


The inspiring teen's father, Joe Martel Jr., said it was pretty clear early on that his son was not going to be held back. He told the site that once, Joe experimented by putting drink koozies on the ends of his legs and sprinting across the living room. 

"From then on, we knew that he was going to be able to participate in sports and do different things," Martel said.

Read more at MaxPreps

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