06/05/2014 06:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Teen's Incredible Story Is A Humbling Reminder To Never Give Up

Matt Tapia has never missed a football practice and is called "the glue that holds this team together." His dedication is impressive, but the fact that Matt can play football is somewhat of a miracle.

Matt was born prematurely at 3 months and weighed just 1.5 pounds. Doctors weren't expecting him to survive, much less learn to walk or talk. Today, the 18-year-old varsity football player has surpassed expectations while inspiring his community.

Stretching just over 13 minutes in length, the short film, "MATT," documents his incredible journey and the obstacles he has faced as a result of his special needs. The Santa Monica High School senior was welcomed by the football team with open arms, and quickly became a beloved member.

"Matt has the greatest energy every day. He just brings happiness," says teammate Kevin Person. "Every time I see him, all I can do is smile."

Watch Tapia's story in the video above.

"He's taught the kids patience, commitment, dedication," says head coach Travis Clark. "I think they see Matt [as] anything you want, if you so desire it, if you just put your heart and your mind to it, you can accomplish anything in your life."

Matt will attend UCLA in the fall, where he hopes to become a sports broadcaster. For more information about Matt and the film, visit matthefilm.com and www.facebook.com/mattthefilm.

[h/t PetFlow]

Follow HuffPost Teen on Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pheed |



Best Teen TED Talks