No arms, no problem. Northwest Junior High’s Thaddeus Longmire loves playing football

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT
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CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - Thaddeus Longmire was born without arms, but that doesn’t stop him from playing the game he loves.

“Football is very fun and being a tight end blocking and feeling like a part of the team,” Thaddeus said. “No one really said I couldn’t do it, they just gave me, like, looks. That made me feel like I should do it to prove them wrong.”

It’s not easy playing football without arms.

“I feel like it’s dangerous on depending the size of the guy I am blocking.”

When Thad gets knocked down he gets right back up and works hard to get his body in front of defenders to make a block. Even though he knows he will never score a touchdown he takes pride in his blocking.

“Kind of hard to score a touchdown because I can’t hold the ball,” Thad said. “I can’t really score a touchdown but maybe like blocking to get a touchdown.”

He takes a lot of pride in seeing his teammates have that success.

“He is a selfless person,” said his coach Zach Smith. “He doesn’t care if he scores a touchdown, he wants the team to get the touchdown.”

So why play tight end? Because that is the position his favorite player plays.

“George Kittle!” Thad says.

“He inspires me to go 100% even though I know he can’t do as many things as I can do,” said teammate Nirvan Kandel.

Thad gets his inspiration from his amazing family. His sister Hannah is known as the ‘Blade Runner.’ She is one of the top runners in the country.

Thad’s mother Lee believes her children can do whatever they put their minds too.

“We always tell our kids dream big,” Lee said.

Thad’s teammates and coaches help him take his gear off after the game.

“It would be very hard for me to do that and I’m so glad that he’s choosing football, and then I can be his teammate alongside him.”