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Pittsford's Matt Cowie proving he's more than just another lacrosse player

Updated: Thursday, May 29 2014, 10:57 PM EDT

Lacrosse comes easy for Pittsford's Matt Cowie, once he gets his shoes on.

"I struggle to think of things he can't do," said Matt's dad Bill. "Really, the only thing that comes to mind is tying his shoes."

But once the Pittsford 8th grader laces up, it's almost impossible to notice he was born with just one hand.

"I did a few clinics in second and third grade, but I decided in fourth grade I loved it," Matt said. " I knew it was gonna be a bit of a struggle, but I just kind of went with it knowing that I could be just as good as any other kid on this team no matter what. Either I could be better or I could be just as good."

It was obvious just how good Matt was when his family moved to Rochester from Long Island last year. His coach Tim Rose remembers the day Matt and his twin brother Will tried out for modified.

"These kids walked in, it was him and his brother, and Matt had just one arm," said modified coach Tim Rose. "After watching Matt it was very clear he was going to make the team. He has no fear, he goes full speed after everything, and goes in after every ground ball."

"I could feel the eyes on me at first," Matt said. "But I love this community, the Pittsford community. Everyone has accepted me right in."

And while Matt's coaches and teammates know what to expect, he still catches his opponents off guard.

"The kid I was playing yesterday actually, he told me that the kid with one arm is good," said Matt's brother Will. He didn’t know it was my brother, he said that he’s really good at lacrosse and he really wouldn’t know."

"It’s an impressive thing to watch," his dad Bill explained. "People don’t realize it because it is so natural. We’ve had instances with referees where we had to tell them prior to the game or else he gets called for one handed checks… once they realize it’s like wow I didn’t know, nad he’s really good. He’s good by the standards of having two hands."

BUT MATT HAS MADE IT CLEAR, HE ONLY NEEDS ONE.

"I would never know anything differently," Matt said. "I learned so many different things differently playing with one hand. Doing anything with one hand, tying my shoes, pullups, anything differently. I would just be another normal kid."

Pittsford's Matt Cowie proving he's more than just another lacrosse player


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