Imagine for a moment if you played your favorite sport with just one hand. Sure, you'd probably be able to get around the difficulty of having to catch, shoot or dribble with one hand, but it wouldn't be nearly as easy as being able to have a second one at your disposal.
That's why Luke Grizzell's story of trying to play on his high school hockey team is so incredible. The Woodland Park (Colo.) High School hockey player has been defying the odds for the last couple of years, playing hockey for a team in the local area with just one hand.
As the Denver Post reported in a recent article, Grizzell, who was born without a left hand, now feels he's ready to take the next step and play for his school this season. While coaches and fans seem to be amazed by the 16-year-old's ability to handle the puck and shoot, Grizzell said he doesn't think much of it.
"It's not a big deal to me," Grizzell told the Denver Post. "I guess I'm pretty determined to do what I want and prove other people wrong."
Despite Grizzell's disadvantage on the ice, that hasn't stopped him from finding new and inventive ways to improve his game, after he started playing hockey with his stick stuck between his arm and midsection for support.
After struggling with the stick in this position, Grizzell decided it was time to figure out a new way to handle the stick, especially if he was going to play on his school's team.
"We were kicking around ideas after a game one day, what he could do," his father Wayne Grizzell told the Denver Post. "We'd tried some prosthetics and things like that, but in addition to being obscenely expensive, Luke almost has too much of a left hand for anything to be able to stick on the end and be effective. He disappeared into his room for a couple of hours and came out with a piece of canvas with a pouch in it to put the stick in."
The pouch has worked wonders, and now has him primed to defy the odds. Despite his positive outlook, Grizzell is also staying realistic about his chances of playing at the next level.
"If by some miracle I'm able to do something with hockey in the future, I'd sure be on board, but that's probably not too likely," Grizzell told the Denver Post. "I like to skate and hit people and just try to help my team."