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Meet the 15-year-old blind quarterback hoping to reach the NFL


The 15-year-old Modesto Raiders beginning quarterback is totally blind — and a cruel athlete, passing the ball, operating touchdowns and breaking tackles.

“I by no means used even as soon as that I am unable to see as an excuse. By no means have, by no means will,” Jasen, who lives in Modesto, California, informed CNN. “I informed my group that the one distinction between me and the opposite quarterback is that he has a distinct quantity, and that is it.”

The younger star grew up having fun with the game three days every week each time soccer season got here round, together with his father narrating each element. Instantly, Jasen says, he knew that was his ardour.

“Possibly someday I will be on TV on the soccer discipline myself,” Jasen mentioned he informed himself day-after-day. “There is not any limits, and if there’s one thing in the way in which, I will learn the way to get round it or over it. I will discover a solution to obtain my objective in the easiest way potential.”

Jasen has been blind since he was a younger little one. When he was 1 12 months previous, he was recognized with retinoblastoma, a most cancers that causes tumors within the retinas.

Over the following six years, he underwent quite a few remedies, however nothing was profitable. By his seventh birthday, he was utterly blind. All he can inform, he says, is when it is morning or evening time.

Regardless of rising up with out his sight, Jasen by no means felt self-conscious or hesitant to comply with his desires. And soccer was simply one of many firsts he was going to make come true.

Aiming for the highest

When Jasen turned 13, his dad and mom gave him an iPhone to supply extra accessibility choices.

He started working, calling each soccer group within the space and asking if they’d give him a strive with out his dad and mom understanding.

“Impulsively, someday we get a name from Coach David Nichols saying, ‘Hey, I bought a name out of your son asking if he can come play soccer for us, however did he say he was blind?'” Jasen’s father, Jasen Bracy Sr., informed CNN.

However not like the various different groups who rejected Jasen, Nichols, who coaches the Modesto Raiders, was prepared to provide him an opportunity.

“Once I first took him on I used to be somewhat skeptical, however as soon as I noticed him as an individual, I knew this child might do something,” Nichols informed CNN. “I’ve at all times accepted him, however I used to be like ‘How am I going to do that?’ When you see him on the market it is totally different.”

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Jasen shocked his group, instantly placing on the uniform and mastering strategies wanted to play soccer with out seeing the sector, gamers or ball.

He memorized every play, together with the place each participant has to keep up on the sector. His father stands on the sidelines, talking to him by a walkie talkie to relate the visuals.

“He is aware of the place to be at, the place at hand the ball off, the place the child’s going to be at, he is aware of get the factors,” Nichols mentioned.

Jasen has proved he is a power to be reckoned with, even main his group to a victory in September by scoring a operating landing throughout a match in opposition to a group that had rejected him.

Often, the opposing group does not even understand Jasen is blind, and if they do not already know, he does not inform them.

“I do not inform them, not earlier than or after the sport, so they do not even take into consideration easing up on me,” he mentioned. “I am the quarterback, and one of many quarterback’s jobs is main the group. As a pacesetter, I’ve to take management of this group, lead them by good and dangerous occasions irrespective of the scenario I’ve to get us by. And I am robust as iron. I’m going to play arduous.”

A group that made it potential

When Bracy realized his son can be blind for the remainder of his life, his first ideas had been that he would by no means get to see him play baseball or soccer, he mentioned.

“All I do know is that we’re fortunate the most cancers did not unfold to his head or into something life threatening,” he mentioned. “I used to be at all times grateful I nonetheless had my son, I can nonetheless speak to him, snigger and joke with him as a result of he has a fantastic humorousness. I can nonetheless watch sports activities with him by commentating to him what was taking place all through the sport.”

Jasen and his father, Jasen Bracy Sr., during a game.

Soccer is not the one factor Jasen can do. He excels in quite a few sports activities, together with swimming, golf, baseball and wrestling. His desires are boundless, and nothing appears out of attain to him.

However his coronary heart, Jasen says, lies in soccer and his focus is on reaching the Nationwide Soccer League. Nichols is decided to assist the younger expertise attain no matter objective he has in thoughts.

“Simply seeing him, he reveals me there’s nothing you possibly can’t do, and that displays on the opposite children. Ever since hes been on my group, the group gravitate round him,” Nichols mentioned. “It adjustments their entire outlook on life. He makes the season. Even when we do not win, simply having that chemistry with the group has most likely been top-of-the-line issues I’ve ever been round.”

Alongside together with his perseverance and expertise, Jasen additionally credit the help of his father, mates and group in making his dream a actuality.

“I wish to particularly thank my coach for giving me the possibility to placed on the pads, placed on the helmet, and show what i can do on the sector,” he mentioned.



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