Sixteen-year-old Isaac Lufkin is an asset to the Houlton High School football team in Houlton, Maine in more ways than one.
Lufkin, a junior, serves as the team’s place kicker and defensive nose tackle, despite being born without arms, the Bangor Daily News reports. He also regularly inspires his teammates.
“His positive attitude is like an aura,” Houlton freshman Dolton Nason told the Bangor Daily News of Lufkin.
Plenty of folks share Nason’s admiration for Lufkin.
“On the third or fourth play of our [JV] game against Dexter he really got knocked over but he was right back up again,” Houlton football coach Brian Reynolds told the Daily News. “I think they thought they’d knock him down and he’d stay down, but he doesn’t and that’s kind of the whole concept he brings to the team, that he doesn’t give up.”
Even the coach of another team had nothing but wonderful things to say about the high schooler—and gave him a game ball after watching Lufkin’s excellent performance on the field.
“I said it wasn’t because of the fact that you don’t have arms, it’s about the fact that you’re doing what you’re doing and inspiring people,” said coach Dan O’Connell of Houlton’s rival school, John Bapst, according to the Daily News. “I know for one we are inspired by what you’re doing, so keep it going.”
And keep it going, he will.
Lufkin has taught himself how to do everything with his legs and feet, opting out of using prosthetic limbs out of fear that it might hamper further development.
And though his motto is, “If I can’t, then I won’t,” it doesn’t seem like there have been many hurdles Lufkin felt he couldn’t cross.
Isaac Lufkin was born without arms, but that doesn't keep him from joining the football team at Houlton HS in Maine. http://t.co/dJFeH1uFST
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) September 29, 2015
“I just like the contact,” Lufkin said of playing on the football team, according to Bangor Daily News. “It’s something that’s fun, and I’m just happy being on the team anyplace as long as I can help.”
He also enjoys hitting the field with the other players.