Spring, Texas — Calder Hodge thinks of himself as just another high school freshman who plays junior varsity football. But suiting up for a game means something very different for him.
The 14-year-old athlete is a double amputee. Born with a rare birth defect, his legs were amputated above the knee at age 2. At 6, he told his mom he wanted to play football.
Her initial reaction was “no.” But Hodge wanted to call the plays in his life, and with three football-playing brothers encouraging him, he decided to be a quarterback.
“I’ve never had a moment where I thought I couldn’t do it,” he said.
Hodge changes out of his prosthetics into running blades for football. Every practice, every game, is about doing what he’s been told he can’t. “I have bad days, I mean everybody does. It’s not about the bad days. It’s about how you recover from the bad days,” Hodge said.
His mom, Kayla Hodge, said she couldn’t be more proud. “To get this special child and to watch him chase his dreams and to do everything he wanted to do, I couldn’t ask for more,” she said.
Playing the game does come with occasional aches and pains but you’ll never hear Hodge complain. “I’ve had a life of going through so much that I just take it all with a smile,” he said.