Student takes aim at overcoming obstacle - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Student takes aim at overcoming obstacle

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PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. -- A student at Pinckneyville High School is proving that a disadvantage doesn't have to hold you back. 

With practice, and a specially designed mouth tab, Luke Bigham is shooting a compound bow like this classmates. 

"I put this piece in my mouth, bite down on it, line it up, pull back and let her fly," said Bigham. 

When Luke was a toddler he lost control of his right arm, "I had a stroke at 15 months old, so my hand has never been able to hold a bow or much of anything really." 

But Keith Hagene, the Superintendent and Archery Coach at Pinckneyville High School, saw potential. 

"I asked him if he'd like to try archery and he goes, 'Yeah I'd love it, just don't know if I can'," said Hagene. 

Hagene was determined to make it happen, so he rigged up a mouth tab making it possible for Luke to pull back the arrow. 

A video of him trying it out for the first time went viral with more than 37,000 views on Facebook. 

"I had no idea it would get so many views and shares and comments. Shoot, when I shared it, there was so many people sharing it from my timeline that I was going crazy, my phone was blowing up," said Bigham. 

Now Luke is practicing every chance he can because he's joining one of the most popular teams at the high school. 

"It's great being able to shoot a bow and being able to say 'I shot a compound bow' and just being able to say 'I'm a part of the archery team is awesome'," said Bigham. 

Luke says when he gets good enough, he'll buy a Hoyt or a Matthews bow to hunt with. Mr. Hagene has faith it's just a matter of time. 

"That's the big lesson, just don't count them out. There are chances for them, we just have to make it possible," said Hagene.

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