By Ryan Greene

HENDERSON, Colo. (CBS4) – “My umbilical cord was wrapped around my hand so it cut off the circulation to my fingers and they never grew.”

Mikhail Sands is a senior at Prairie View High School. He’s a multi-sport athlete who competes in football, track, and wrestling. And he does it all with only one hand.

“In the beginning, yeah, I doubted myself a lot.” Sands said. “Football was a sport that caught my eye instantly. So I decided to try it.”

Mikhail Sands (credit: CBS4)


“Unfortunately my first coach said I can’t do anything, ‘It’s a two-handed sport and you need to keep up with everybody else.’ In my mind I said screw that, I’m going to do it anyways.”

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Sands then began training to not only be on the same level as the rest of the kids age, but to train even harder than them, knowing he would always be initially doubted.

He worked his way on to the football field to play wide receiver on his 7th grade team.

“Being a receiver one-handed is pretty challenging, I’m going to tell you that,” Sands said with a smile. “But I made it work.”

(credit: CBS4)


Come high school, Sands had another football coach doubt his ability. Thankfully an assistant coach told Mikhail that if he tried out for defensive back his sophomore year, he could play.

Sands jumped on the opportunity, and over the next couple years grew into his position. He was invited to the Blue-Grey Combine and All-Star game at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas last year.

“It was the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Sands is now has his sights set on being a two-sport athlete in a college, and he’s looking for a school that will not only be patient with him as an athlete, but also as a person.

“Got a lot of work to do, so I hope whatever school I go to is willing to stick with me and rough out all the edges I have. Fix me as a person, and as an athlete.”


Ryan Greene