Williamsville North's Luke Terry is your typical teenager. School and sports make up most days for the 16 year old.
"Ever since he was born, he was an athlete. He played with other kids and was aggressive and athletic and had great balance," his dad, Mark said.
Luke shares a unique connection and inspirational message with Jim Abbott, a former major leaguer, who was born with only one hand and tossed a no-hitter for the Yankees.
He spent 10 seasons in the Bigs and a few years ago sent a letter to Luke, after hearing about his exceptional play as a part of Lou Gehrig Little League.
"He just told me to keep doing what I've been doing and that I've become a great inspiration to others," Luke said.
Like the former Yankee, Luke was born with only one hand and has thrived on the diamond, becoming one of the top players at Williamsville North.
"Whatever you want to do, go out and do it. There's nothing that can stand in your way," Luke said. "Once you actually go out and do it, you'll realize that's true."
As a freshman, Luke was called up from the JV squad to join the varsity team in the postseason a year ago and this season is the only sophomore to start on varsity.
Growing up with his friends and playing sports, in his own works, Luke was just one of the guys.
"To be honest I just wanted to play with my friends and I didn't really think about anything else," he said.
"He has the courage, confidence and poise. He's not looking for any favors and all he was asking for a fair tryout and he nailed it," Williamsville North Head Coach Jerry Scarcella said. "He outworked most of the guys."
But, like any other parents, his mom and dad had their concerns as Luke grew older.
"Every year we'd worry about what's the next step for him," his dad said. "Going into kindergarten, each grade level, in sports. What's it like to be on JV? Can he make varsity? The lesson is he always finds a way."
This season, Luke is batting .500 through and currently leads the Spartans in steals. He's humble about his accomplishments and is a "team first" guy.
"I try to do my best to be an inspiration to others," he said. "That's motivated me to do more sports and be more competitive and do everything to the best of my ability to prove you can do whatever you want to do."
"It doesn't define him," his mom, Julie said. "His accomplishments and character define him. We're proud of what he's become."
***SUPER 7 COUNTDOWN***
#1 – Luke Terry, Williamsville North Baseball
Luke is currently batting .500 in 11 games and is leading the Spartans in steals this season. He's also the only sophomore to start on varsity for the North.
#2 – Jenna Hagen, Lancaster Lacrosse
Scored 4 goals including the game winning in the Legends 11-10 win over Frontier. She also added four goals in a game against Amherst.
#3 – Ethan Reimondo, Hamburg Track & Field
Set a meet record at the Dunkirk Invitational clearing 6’3” in the high jump.
#4 - Anilese Kelly, West Seneca East Softball
Tossed a complete game 3-hitter, striking out nine in Indians 2-0 win over Lake Shore. She also struck out 10 batters.
“Outstanding and dominate performance against a very strong hitting lake shore team. She didn’t allow a runner past second base.” - Sam Sebastian, Head Coach
#5 – Nick Batchev, St. Francis Baseball
Won two games in five days, striking out seven in a 6-4 win over Catheral Prep and also scattered five hits in a win over Bishop Timon.
“Nick has been our go-to guy this spring and we’re off to a good start. He was the winner in last year’s Georgetown Cup final and we’re hoping he leads up there again.” – Paul Bartell, Head Coach
# 6 – Ivy Carey, Williamsville South Lacrosse
Scored 5 goals and added an assist in 11-6 win over Sweet Home.
"She started last year as a freshman and now as a sophomore she leads the team in ground balls. She loves to go to the net. She uses field awareness to her advantage." - Rick Hopkins, Head Coach
#7 – Jenna Haring, Lake Shore Lacrosse
89.13 save percentage this season helping the Eagles start the season 6-0.
“Jenna is an absolute stand-out player. She works to support her team in all that she does and has been as asset to the team in all of our wins this season." -Laurie Shultz, Head Coach