Sam Monarch was born with amniotic band syndrome. This syndrome prevented Monarch from full development in his right arm. Although it may seem Monarch is at a disadvantage, he has tackled adversity and earned a spot on Timber Creek’s (Orlando, Florida) freshman football team.
The 15-year-old plays nose tackle for Timber Creek high school and is an amazing talent.
“He’s very powerful for his size…Sam gets double-teamed about 50 to 60 percent of the time,” says Mike Weems, coach for Timber Creek.
The 5-9, 168 pound player said it’s hard to explain how he has adapted so well, but he has learned to compensate.
“When I tackle, I hit them as hard as I can…I try to hit them before they hit me,” says Monarch.
Coach Weems believes in Monarch’s ability and doesn’t believe his underdeveloped right arm is a disability.
“His biggest problem is he needs to gain some size, like a lot of our other players… He’s lived his whole life with one hand and he’s learned to compensate,” says Weems.
Monarch can tackle with the best of them and has a unique technique that may be different then someone that has two arms.
“When he makes a tackle, it doesn’t look that different than a young man would make with two arms. He wraps it up good with his left hand and arm. he finishes tackles with his legs. Instead of dragging them down, he drives through the tackle,” says Coach Weems.
Monarch use to run track and play volleyball in middle school, but likes the aggressiveness in football. Monarch’s parents work for Campus Crusade for Christ International and Monarch says his faith and football mesh easily.
“It’s very easy to intertwine the two…You can go out there and be a great football player, but if you don’t give the flory to God, what good is that?”
When football season is over, Coach Weems would love to see Monarch do wrestling. Weems coaches the wrestling team for Timber Creek and believes Monarch has the qualities for wrestling.