Double-Amputee Teen Plays High School Football (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Joe Martel Plays FootballJoe Martel Plays Football

Joe Martel III was born without any shin bones, a condition known as tibia hemimelia, but the 14-year-old plays football for Beggs High School in Oklahoma (video below).

Martel told

I was born without a tibia in my bones. I had my legs and feet. If they wouldn't have amputated my legs, I wouldn't have been able to play football and do none of the stuff that I do today. I like to play, and like the contact in it.

Martel uses two prosthetic legs to play defensive tackle, a position that is full of contact on the field. notes that Martel played youth football without prosthetics and even scored a touchdown (first clip in the video below).

Joe Martel Jr., the teen's dad, told how his son put drink koozies on the ends of his legs when he was small:

And when he stuck them on his legs, I believe he knew that they were comfortable and they didn't hurt him, and we just seen him run across the living room and we were like, "Whoa, what was that?" And from then on, we knew that he was going to be able to participate in sports and do different things.

“And when one of our kids, you know, feels like they’re having a bad day, they look over at Joe and see that smile, see his work ethic," head coach Lee Blankenship added. "Man, it really motivates and inspires our kids.”

Sources:,  / Photo Credit: Screenshot