Grand Strand Netminder keeps goals at the forefront

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) No matter the season, you can find Eric Westover on a soccer pitch in the area, always staying involved in the game.

At first glance, he is your average goalie.

"He's the one that keeps us all laughing, keeps us in a good mood, always staying positive," said teammate Jamie Baker.

Yet a closer look shows something a little different.

"I kind of get the same reaction," he said. "I tell people I play soccer, they say 'that's okay, you don't need an arm for that', but then I say I play goalie, and they go 'really?'"

After a workplace accident in 2004, Eric lost his right arm. But he hasn't let challenges slow him down one bit.

"I'm still able to do whatever I wanted to do, and I'm still able to do some stuff that I couldn't before," said Eric. "I got licensed to become a scuba diver when I lost my arm, and that's something I've always wanted to do."

All the while continuing with soccer, when perhaps the biggest opportunity presented itself when the USA Amputee Team came calling.

Eric explained, "They recruited me on Facebook after seeing some of my videos, and asked me to come to a trial. I went to Philadelphia in 2006, stayed at training camp with them, they said it was great that I was diving around like a lunatic, so they wanted me on the team."

Now entering his sixth year with the squad, he's well aware of the exclusive company to which he belongs.

"The guys that I play with are elite athletes. Everyone I play with played soccer before they lost their limb. We just wanted to get back to being athletes again, and being able to play, so for me it is a real honor to be out there," he said.

"I think for me that's really what I want to show people. Yeah, I'm missing a limb, but that doesn't mean I can't go out there and do anything that anybody else can do."

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