Boy who lost his legs shows leadership on the field - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Boy who lost his legs shows leadership on the field

IRONWOOD, MI (NBC) - A Michigan high school senior football player lost motor control of his feet when he was 5, but never let that ruin his dream of playing on the field.

Cody Rye is a 17-year-old who gets around in a wheelchair due to a car accident. He does not look at himself as handicapped, and wanted to be a football star since freshman year.

"Even though I wanted to see him play football, I said, no way," said Cody's father, Robert Rye.

After undergoing strength training for a year, his parents let him take the field and has been an asset to the team ever since.

"He's a leader of the team and off in the weight room," said Ironwood's head football coach, Dan Niemi. "The crowd erupts when he goes into the ball game, and he's always at practice encouraging the kids and helping out quite a bit."

Not only is Rye and inspiration to his teammates, he inspires his community.

"So many people look up to him, you know, like, no I can't do that, and they're like, yes I can, he does it," said his mother, Lori Rye. "There's nothing holding him back."

Cody Rye has been nominated for the High School Football Rudy Award, a national award that could win him a college scholarship of $5,000 to $10,000.

"I'm pretty surprised I made it to the top 12," he said. "I got the phone call and was like, wow, a kid from Ironwood actually made it that far."

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