Young football player with prosthetic leg inspires teammates


It's a game that starts on a gamble and continues with fierce determination. They're defining characteristics that embody the defensive force of No. 61.

"Never give up, push it 100 percent all the time," 12-year-old William Sage said. "because if you give it your all you'll succeed."

William takes his place in the line of scrimmage with his teammates on the Saint Vincent De Paul football team. His slight hop is the only obvious indicator his legs are different. Stricken with a viral infection as an infant, William's left leg was amputated.

"I need to learn a lesson from him to accept what life brings to you," his mother, Laura Sage, said.

William's positive attitude has become a team inspiration.

"We have days when they are not in a good mind set and they're not trying hard, they're not running fast or hard and they look up and Williams is still running and you look back and you say I cannot have that bad of a day that I have to stop when William won't stop," football coach Scott Muckelroy said.

On the field, William doesn't hold back, and neither do opposing players. There is no warning about William's prosthetic leg, and that's the way he wants it.

"Sometimes people I guess give my sympathy because of that, but on the field everyone plays their hardest against me," he said.

"He always hits our shoulder pad and hits our helmets and all that stuff," 12-year-old Felix Read said.

"It makes me want to work harder every day because he's out there doing the same thing we are," 12-year-old Crespin Linton said.

William also participates in track and field. He throws the discus and shot put. He also credits his two older sisters and younger brother for keeping him on a positive track.

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