Irina Yeakley

Decatur Christian guard Irina Yeakley is the Warriors' No. 1 weapon despite the fact that the sophomore has deformed and missing fingers, plus a prosthetic leg.

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- "No Excuses."

It's not just a t-shirt slogan to Decatur Christian guard Irina Yeakley -- it's a bona fide lifestyle.

The sophomore suits up for the Warriors despite having deformed and missing fingers, plus a prosthetic leg that she custom-designed with Harry Potter slogans and insignia.

Despite the physical differences between her and her opponents, she not only shows up -- she's the Warriors' best player.

"I just work hard and I don't act like I have a disability," Yeakley said. "I don't feel sorry for myself either because I've worked hard to (get) where I am."

Despite Yeakley's sophomore status, she was a unanimous pick as captain of Decatur Christian.

"We chose her as a captain because of her leadership abilities," head coach Mikayla Lehman said, "and what she can do even though she has a disability."

Yeakley was adopted from Russia, where she was born with what's called amniotic band syndrome -- a condition in which the bands in the womb constrict the child's limbs and cause physical abnormalities such as partial fingers, missing fingers, and a stunted leg like Yeakley had before it was amputated.

The Warriors are still searching for their first win of the season at 0-6. But rest assured at least one player won't give excuses when all is said and done.

The reason? She's been through much more.



Week 1: Shannon Roberts, MacArthur
Week 2: Fowler Connell, Danville
Week 3: Ken Leonard, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Week 4: Micah and Dennis Sheppard, Meridian
Week 5: Emily Short, Decatur
Week 6: Veterans and Friends golf 
Week 7: Dre Brown, Mike Dudek, Scotty Gilkey, Illinois/Eastern Illinois
Week 8: Demirjian Family of Decatur
Week 9: Donna Dulle, Mt. Pulaski
Week 10: Moe Dampeer
Week 11: Sister Jean, Loyola
Week 12: Reilly Fitzpatrick, Maroa-Forsyth
Week 13: Volunteers of Decatur Turkey Tournament
Week 14: Nick Allegretti, Illinois
Week 15: Taylorville Tornadoes
Week 16: Scotty Gilkey, Eastern Illinois


Week 1: Irina Yeakley, Decatur Christian