One-handed soccer player dazzles, defies and dominates
TUNNEL HILL, Ga. (WDEF) — Northwest Whitfield’s Lexi Lyon not only led the Lady Bruins with two goals in Tuesday’s Elite Eight game — she did it all with just one hand.
Due to a rare birth defect, Lyon was born without her left hand and forearm.
“The doctor just told us, ‘You know, we need to talk about her little hand,'” Lexi’s mom Katie said. “So from that point on, I was in total fear for her life. But you know, then he was like, ‘Oh, she’s just missing it.’ And I said, ‘Well, what else?’ She’s okay. She’s healthy. So we just dealt with that, and that’s not been a problem at all.”
Lyon might be missing her arm, but she’s not missing her motivation.
“I have to work extra hard to accomplish the things that people with both hands have already,” Lyon said.
“It plays in a lot to have, to be able to push off and fight for the ball,” Coach Amanda Moore said. “So for her to be able to do that, even on the side where she doesn’t have the hand, she’s just still aggressive, and she will win the ball no matter what.”
“You have to use your body, your arms. You got to protect yourself. You got to protect the ball,” senior captain Ashley Cabrera said. “You have to use your arms, and her not having one, she still protects it, and I don’t know how she does it.”
Lyon’s impressive aggression earned her a starting spot on this year’s varsity squad. She even scored two of Northwest’s four goals in the Elite Eight game against Thomas County Central.
“Every coach that plays against us just tells us how they wish they had people on their team like Lexi that gives 110 percent no matter what,” Moore said. “She doesn’t care if she has both arms. She doesn’t care. She’s going to go out there, and she’s going to play like one of the top players in our area. And that’s what she does.”
“I want to win. I always want to win. I hate losing. It’s like my biggest thing I hate. So, I do anything I can to win,” Lyon said.
To all those around her, she’s already won.
“People are really inspired by Lexi,” mom Katie said. “Even just this week, someone I work with came by and said, ‘We’re just so impressed seeing her out there, and you’re just who I watch the whole time because it’s just amazing that you’re doing that.”
“My eight year old looks up to her,” Moore said. “She talks about Lexi all the time. She’s like, ‘Mom, she doesn’t have an arm. How does she play?’ I said, ‘She just does.’ That’s all she cares about. She just plays.”