LEWISBURG — Luke Terry has defied the odds his entire life.
What he does on a baseball diamond shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Luke is a 14-year-old eighth-grade catcher at Cornersville (Tenn.) Middle School.
He also has only one arm.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Luke had his right arm amputated at 19 months. He had contracted E. coli and it eventually attacked the arm.
“They put the PICC line in his arm (to treat the E. coli),” said Dana Terry, Luke’s mother. “And the bacteria went to his arm, where the PICC line was. It just started eating his arm away.
“They had to put (the PICC line) in because he had to have so many shots and blood drawn so much that his veins were just mush.”
Dana said her son flatlined on the operating table three times during that time in his life.
He refused to give in even then.
Now, let’s be clear. Luke isn’t on this team because he has one arm. He can play.
He’s one of the top three players for the Bulldogs and hits third in the batting order.
He’s made catching an art form. Luke catches the ball from his pitcher, flips it at approximately shoulder height, dropping his glove almost simultaneously. He grabs the ball in mid-air and throws it back to his pitcher, or to a base if someone is trying to steal.
Sound easy? He had that down before he started playing middle school ball.
But he does it effortlessly. Sure, he may drop the ball occasionally. But you try doing that 100 times a game, sometimes when you are moving your body forward to throw someone out.
And Luke does it so quickly you need to look twice to see what is really going on behind home plate.
“He’s amazing,” said teammate Logan Courtemanche, a pitcher. “He’s good.
“He’s as quick as anyone around. He’s real quick.”
Eagleville High School baseball coach Travis Holland was amazed when he saw Luke behind home plate recently.
“Big shout out to Cornersville’s middle school catcher,” Holland tweeted. “With the use of one arm, this guy is getting it done. What a stud.”