Jace Prior’s ‘no doubt’ attitude in sports leads to success despite missing half of his arm

Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 10:15 PM CDT
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LOYAL, Wis. (WSAW) - Athletes face physical and mental challenges every day. But for Loyal’s Jace Prior, his challenge isn’t the typical athlete’s struggle. He’s missing half of his right arm.

“At birth, I had the umbilical cord wrapped around there, cutting off circulation and they had to amputate,” Prior said.

Despite the limitation, Prior plays football and wrestles at Loyal. To him, his missing right hand isn’t a disability.

“It just gave me more pride to work harder for things and do what everyone else is,” Prior said.

Prior loved sports from the day he was born. When he was in preschool, he handed his dad a wrestling form to sign up. In third grade, he signed up for football.

While he says he thinks his parents might have had doubts, Prior believed he could play with the same ability as everyone else. His football coach, Chris Lindner, sees his attitude as something others should model.

“He has a mindset that nothing can hold him back. He has the attitude that whatever he tackles, he’s going to tackle wide open,” Lindner said.

He sees challenges as an opportunity to prove those who doubt him wrong. Loyal’s quarterback and Prior’s childhood friend, Kaiden Hagen, has grown up continually amazed at Prior’s ability to fight through adversity.

“People look at him and be like ‘oh, he can’t do nothing cause he’s got half an arm.’ He goes out there and shows them all wrong and does stuff like any normal person could do,” Hagen said.

In wrestling, which is Prior’s favorite sport, he didn’t lose a match last season until regionals.

“They’re blown away, yeah. Because they come out and go ‘easy.’ He’s only got half an arm and then he comes out and punches them in the jaw and they’re like ‘oh man, didn’t see that coming.’”

Lindner says he sets the bar for his teammates, leading the team as a senior.

“They understand that we have a young man that is smaller in stature than everyone. Has a limitation and there’s no holds bar for him, he just goes,” Linder said.

Loyal's Jace Prior (#10) runs out with the team before their season-opener against Abbotsford.
Loyal's Jace Prior (#10) runs out with the team before their season-opener against Abbotsford.(WSAW)

He caught an interception and had a 60-yard pass in their game against Neillsville/Granton two weeks ago. Hagen says it’s an example of how he continually wows his teammates.

“He just never gave up. Never thought he couldn’t do anything,” Hagen said.

Prior is currently a senior and is looking to wrestle at the college level after this season.

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