BEGGS, Okla. — A former Beggs football player's story serves as an inspiration to his town long after his playing days ended.
Joe Martel, 21, is a part of the proud history of football in Beggs. The high school has five state championships to its credit.
Martel knows all about confronting and overcoming challenges on and off the field.
“When I was two years old, I had my legs amputated," Martel said. He'd been born without bones in the lower part of his legs.
However, his condition didn't stop him from chasing his dreams — starting with little league football.
“I try to defeat all odds," he said. “I made history in the state as the first person to play football with no legs.”
He went on to play on his middle and high school teams and said he credits his positivity for getting him there.
“I kept all my teammates motivated because like, they will see me up and like I know sometimes they'll be a little down but they'll see me up and active so they will get up and active as well," he said.
He said his upbeat attitude is known around town as he starts up Beggs's newest business, No Legs! Martel said he wants to turn what some might think is a disability into something positively inspiring.
“Oh, I have a disability, but I get up and I'll do what I have to do. And then just show them that hey, have a disability or not, you can still do anything your mind tells you."
No Legs! sells hard-to-find sneakers and its own limited edition clothing line. Customers can shop both online and in person.