Maybe it doesn't sound like much that Chance Anthony, the top receiver for Breckinridge County High in Kentucky, can bench press 235 pounds. But then you consider that the kid only weighs 157 pounds.
Oh, and did we mention he only has one arm?
Chance was born missing the lower half of his right arm, and that day in the hospital, the doctors made a prediction: His parents would miss that arm more than their newborn son ever would. He proves that prophecy correct every day.
Last fall, he started at wide receiver and linebacker for the football team. He's playing on the basketball team this winter.
"For me, I just want to be like everybody else," said Chance, who also plays guard for the basketball team. "It's no big deal for me. Other people look up to me for it, but for me, it's just something I live with."
It is that kind of attitude that helped make Chance the winner of the second annual High School Rudy Award, which honor inspirational football players who best define what Rudy refers to as the Four Cs: Character, Courage, Contribution and Commitment.
The announcement was made at noon on Tuesday; a formal presentation - complete with a $10,000 scholarship check - will be made at the school in February.
"Chance has proven that you can overcome anything with a positive attitude and a great work ethic," John Ballantine, the founder of the award, said. "Everyone involved with the High School Football 'Rudy' Awards is proud of this young man and all he has achieved. He is an inspiration to many, and we're honored to share his story with America."
Anthony was among hundreds who were nominated in last fall for the award.
Fifty semifinalists were named in mid-December by the Rudy selection committee before a nationwide fan vote produced 12 finalists. Nearly 2.5 million votes were cast.
The overall winners were selected with a combination of voting by fans and the selection committee.
Among all the entrees, Anthony's inspirational story stood out the most.
"Chance is the type of player that every coach dreams of having on his team," assistant coach Brent Hottell wrote in nominating Anthony. "He is always the first person on the practice field and is willing to do whatever is asked of him to help the team. With all of the things that he has accomplished during his high school career you would never know that he was born with only one arm."
Breckinridge coach Scott Mooney said caught his first glimpse of that arm in action across the weight room one day. He saw a bench-press bar tilted dangerously in one direction, and fearing that somebody would get hurt, rushed across the room and started yelling.
"When I saw it, it was just a foot-in-mouth moment," Mooney said. In order to bench press, Chance supports most of the weight with his hand and balances the other half of the bar on the end of his right arm.
"I was fixing to get on somebody for being unsafe," the coach said, "and what was going on was, here was a kid who had every excuse in the world not to do the bench press doing his workout. I knew he was special then.
"I told the entire team, 'People will think I'm a fool for starting a one-armed receiver, but I could care less. This young man wants to do things and he will be a starter on this football team.'"
Chance rarely wears his prosthetic arm. His family has a nickname for the end of his right arm - "Nubby" - and there isn't much the missing right hand keeps Chance from doing.
He is an excellent rifle shooter. He can shift gears on a trail bike with Nubby. His mother remembers seeing him one day, driving like a typical teenager with his left arm hanging out the window.
"I said to him, 'Chance, you're supposed to have both hands on the wheel,'" his mother Deborah said. "'And you've only got one. Use it!'"
Deborah bought a small ad in the football program this year that said, "Nub 'em good, Chance!" In basketball, he figures Nubby is an advantage on defense. "The referee can't really tell how hard he's nubbing him," Deborah Anthony said.
Her son will also draw a smiley face at the end of Nubby for games. "If somebody's playing man to man," Chance said, "you can at least make them laugh and try to catch them off guard that way."
Chance is more than just a jock with a sense of humor. He has a 3.6 GPA and is one of the more popular students in school. At a recent girls' volleyball game, Breckinridge was playing a team nicknamed the Hornets, so Chance borrowed his father's bee keeper mask and got some of his friends to dress up as a hive.
Many families in Breckinridge County, a rural area in eastern Kentucky about 40 miles north of Lexington, are struggling in the economy, but Mooney said Chance's success was a source of pride in the community.
"Chance Anthony," Mooney said, "is a young man who is helping us reach our potential. He inspires our coaches. He inspires our players. He's not just a football player with one arm. He's a good kid."
Anthony, who is planning to study law enforcement at Eastern Kentucky University next fall, was one of five inspirational athletes to be honored.
Cody Rye of Ironwood, Mich., who plays defensive line despite being paralyzed from the waist down, was named first runner-up and will earn a $5,000 scholarship. (Read his story here)
Tray Waite of Warren, Ohio, and Kyle Wilcox of Seffner, Fla., - two star football players who have overcome family issues to become model student-athletes - shared the second runner-up honor and will each receive $2,500 scholarship checks. (Read Waite's story here) and (Wilcox's story here)
Tyler Dutruch of Slidell, La., who has battled Stage I diabetes since he was 11, won the Fan Favorite award and will earn a $5,000 scholarship check. (Read his story here)