ISLE OF WIGHT, VA (WTKR)- Watch Jacob Chapman play any one of his three sports and you'll be inspired just watching him take the field or court. His performances in each activity will leave you even more impressed.
"I can't pretend to know what it's like to do things missing a limb, but the world isn't going to expect him to cut any corners or make any concessions for him," Jacob's father, Dale said.
"We always told him 'the world's not going to give you any breaks,' so we didn't want anybody to give him any breaks," his mother, Tracy, added. "We wanted him to be treated the same as anybody else and earn his spot."
Their son has flourished. Jacob was born without most of his left arm, but that has not stopped him from excelling in sports. He's defied the odds and stands out on three of Isle of Wight Academy's varsity teams- baseball, football and basketball.
"I've grown up with most of these kids their whole lives since we were in pre-school and they just look at me as one of them," Jacob said. "I'm no different. I'm just here to play and win."
"Just listen to our dugout today when he got up to bat," added Dale. "They're not like 'come on, I hope you can do it.' They expect him to do it."
"I just always try my best, no matter what," Jacob pointed out. "I'm always going to give 110 percent so we can win and help the team in any way possible."
Growing up, Jacob never had any doubts about his ability to compete in athletics. Baseball, however, was the one sport that gave him pause. It would feature a unique learning curve in terms of catching and throwing with one arm.
"The more ballgames he played, the more he got comfortable with it and the more he could do different things with it and understand how to make the transfer from putting [the glove] under his arm, getting the ball out and making the throws," Dale recalled.
"Once I got the hang of it, I just ran with it and got better at it and better at it," said Jacob.
"He is going to do something over and over until he figures it out in his own way," noted Tracy. "That's what he did in baseball when he was little. He's got a lot of perseverance and determination, too."
Jacob's parents have taught him that the world is not going to give him any breaks, but, if you ask him, he'll tell you that he doesn't need any.
"I don't want to brag, but I'm hard-working and I always want to do my best, no matter what," he said.
Last week, Jacob wowed his own team and opponents when he hit a home run. He was named second team All-State in football and asserted himself as the Chargers' top defender on the basketball court.
If you have a nominee for the Esprit Decor Student-Athlete of the Week, send an email to email@example.com.