Valley athlete overcoming obstacles without left hand

At first glance, Tommy Rivera blends in with the rest of his teammates in the weight room at Memorial Middle School. "It made me feel like a normal kid, like I was part of the group," he said.

Tommy was born without his left hand but instead of using that as an excuse, he used it as motivation to make it on the football team; with the help of his parents of course. "They always told me not to give up like I was a normal kid," he said.

At 14 years old, the defesive tackle for the Memorial Raiders has knocked down barriers without a second of hesitation.

Even in the weight room, Tommy has managed to lift through obstacles even with just one hand.

Video of Tommy working out hit social media and has since spread, garnering support and cheers from fans all across the Rio Grande Valley. "It feels good to know that there's gonna be people out there that will root for me and help me out," he said.

Tommy says his love for Harlingen Cardinal football is to thank for his never quit mentality, with the goal of one day becoming a Cardinal. "I got inspired and I just wanted to do other stuff like them," he said. "I got to meet them and they said I can do anything."

Tommy has some advice for others who find themselves in tough, almost impossible situations. "Just keep doing what you're doing and don't stop," he said.

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