Teammates, coach laud football player with disability awarded college scholarship


(ABC NEWS)- By all accounts, Oregon high school senior Alex Hurlburt is a pretty phenomenal football player.

“He’s just the most down to earth, you know, hardworking,” Simon Thompson, West Salem’s senior quarterback, told ABC News affiliate KATU-TV in Portland recently. “He puts in more work than anybody I’ve ever met.”

Hurlburt, who wears No. 8 as a linebacker on the West Salem Titans, said he’d always played sports, from baseball and basketball to a bit of wrestling. His athleticism and success were seemingly unaffected by the fact that that he was born without part of his left arm.


“I didn’t want to be seen as you know that kid with that, with one arm. I just wanted to be, you know, just that kid,” he said.

Hurlburt, gives maximum effort at the gym and on the field, has proven that he is more than just that kid.

He was named Greater Valley Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. And last week, he announced that he’d accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Montana, a Division 1 school.

He told ABC News Thursday that he was excited about committing to the university and focusing on his future.


After he made the announcement, Hurlburt was given a shout-out by newly drafted Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin who also was born without his left hand.


“It’s pretty sweet,” Hurlburt said of the recognition. “I didn’t really expect it honestly.”

His coach Shawn Stanley said Hurlburt’s accomplishments were an “inspiration” to everyone.

“It’s emotional,” Stanley said. “How could you not root for that guy?”

Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.