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Sweetwater QB plays with prosthetic leg

7:51 AM, Oct 2, 2012   |    comments
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At first glance, you'd never know D.J. Vanderwerf wasn't like everyone else. His footwork, his spirals and his knack for the game are just as good as the next quarterback.

But what is different, D.J. only has one leg.

"I had a birth defect, and they had to amputate it when I was 9 months old," D.J. explains.

By 15 months old, D.J. was fitted for a prosthetic leg. He says learning to play sports wasn't hard because he's never known any different. What was hard? Convincing his parents to let him play.

"Yeah, at first, but then they finally let me play. I've been going ever since."

Sweetwater football coach Craig Moser also said he had some concerns about D.J. playing, but after talking with his mom, he knew he needed to let D.J. play.

"We didn't know of his mobility or if his leg was going to come off, but his mom assured us everything was going to be fine," Moser said.

As a freshman, D.J. is the starting quarterback for the Sweetwater JV team. He also plays baseball and basketball.

His best friend, Caleb Starnes, said he's an inspiration to never stop fighting. "Sometime I jam my thumb playing and I think I can't do it, and then I look at D.J., and he doesn't let his disability affect him at all. It's really just an inspiration everyday to me."


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