MODESTO, Calif. (WKRC/CBS NEWSPATH) – It sure looked like a teenager would never get to realize his dream of playing football, but he “saw” things a different way.
15-year-old starting quarterback Jasen Bracy has a clear vision of what it takes to win on the field, even though he’ll never see it with his own eyes.
He developed retinal cancer as a toddler. By the time he turned seven, his sight was gone.
Bracy liked other sports, but he really wanted to play football. His parents’ response?
“No way!” said Bracy’s father.
Eventually, Bracy became his own agent.
“Once he got his own phone, he figured how to call the teams around the area and started asking the coaches,” said Bracy’s father,
“The way he was on the phone I just said come on we’ll figure it out,” said David Nichols, the coach for the Modesto Raiders.
“It felt like I got over that mountain I had been trying to climb forever,” said Bracey.
Bracy got his chance with the Modesto Raiders.
He memorized every play, and where every player is supposed to be. He did so well the coach made him quarterback.
So, how does he do it? How does he know where to throw the ball?
“It’s all memory. It’s all about having trust in the player, the receiver and the team. I have to trust them 100-percent,” said Bracey.
His dad also guides him from the sidelines with a walkie-talkie. Bracy hears him through his helmet.
“I don’t even want a team to know that I can’t see because they might ease up on me,” said Bracey.
His ultimate goal? To make it all the way to the NFL.