Disability Can’t Hold Back Taquarius Wair
Photo Credit: Janaye Johnson Photography
Taquarius Wair fought through his disabilities and received an offer to play football at the collegiate level.
At just 4 years old, Wair was involved in a tragic house fire. He got out, but his sister was still inside. Wair ran back in to try and save her, but he then became caught in a burning room.
“All I can remember is the fire all around me,” Wair said. “My Mother called my name and I came walking out of the fire. She said it was then that she knew I was going to be special.”
Over half of his body was burned to a severe degree and he lost four fingers on his left hand. His sister unfortunately perished in the blaze. March 2019 will be the 14th anniversary of the fire, a tragic event that paved a long road to Wair’s attempt at a normal life.
The next few years were tough for Wair and his family. Although he claims to remember little until he began playing football at a young age, Wair said that is when his life became memorable.
“I don’t remember much of my life before I was 8, but I do know that is when my no quit attitude was developed,” said Wair. “I remember people looking at me and probably thinking I wasn’t going to be good, but I was really good.”
When he started playing football, it was apparent that he had talent. Wair played running back and quarter back on most of his teams. Missing four fingers on his left hand didn’t stop Wair, he won Offensive MVP and also helped lead his team to a semi-finals game.
The biggest hurdle he would face were the constant surgeries on his scar tissue. These surgeries would sideline him every year. The procedures would consist of making incisions to relieve stress on the tight and sometimes painful areas known as scar bands. Repairing these areas of the body Increased Wair’s ability to twist and raise his arms. The healing process alone may have exhausted an average person, but not Wair. He was determined to come back every year to keep playing the sport he loved.
“My arm was stuck in an l-shaped position, so I had surgeries on my scar tissue to get more mobility,” Wair said.
Wair’s high school career became even more inconsistent in terms of playing time. He had multiple surgeries and eventually transferred high schools, requiring him to sit out his junior year. Wair’s new school, North High School, is where he ended up playing for head coach Charles Adams.
“T.Q. can do anything, I never treated him differently than any of the other kids,” said Adams.
Wair ended playing outside linebacker, defensive back, kick return and running back.
Coach Adams recalled a specific moment when he knew Wair was going to do something special on the football field.
“We were having a tough day of practice and some of the boys were complainin,” said the coach. “T.Q. yelled at them saying to keep crying so I can take your minutes.”
North High School is a small inner-city school in the city if Minneapolis. It has limited funds, no lights, and a spotty grass field.
“Most of our kids are on reduced lunch and parents can’t even afford the 25-dollar participation fee,” said Adams. “Kids can get discouraged with all the lack of resources at our school, never mind struggling through a disability, this is what makes T.Q.’s accomplishments especially amazing.”
Wair finished off his first ever complete football season in 2018. He helped lead his team to the 2A State Semi-Finals at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. T.Q. will be playing football for head coach Tom Inforzato at Mesabi Range Community College.
His goal is simple.
“My next step is to play in the NFL like Shaquem Griffin,” said Wair.
Taquarius Wair is going to be an inspiration for kids in years to come, I can’t wait to see how his life unfolds.