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Wednesday, 25 September 2019 14:38

Touchdown Was a Special Moment for Visually-Impaired Player, Friends and Fans

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Touchdown Was a Special Moment for Visually-Impaired Player, Friends and Fans

MODESTO - Jasen Bracey may seem like your average 14 year old junior high student, but this week he and those who know him are celebrating a big accomplishment.

Just like any 14 year old boy might have an interest, Jasen plays football. Saturday he scored his first touchdown of the season, with a little help from his team and a lot of encouragement and support from all who know him.

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”I was a little skeptical and concerned on how I would coach him up and get him involved,” said David Nichols Sr. who coaches Jasen on the Modesto Raiders football team. “We are a non-profit organization and have to take anybody that signs up.”

Coach Nichols’ concern comes from Jasen’s visual impairment. He cannot see at all, however it is apparent that this is anything but a disability for the teen.

”He does everything with his teen and is guided by his teammates and coaches voices during practice,” Coach Nichols said. “During the games he has a little speaker to help him out when he is playing that his dad talks to him through.”

Coach Nichols says Jasen loves the sport and brings a motivation to the team unlike any he has seen in his ten years of coaching youth football. Every player lends a helping hand to see that Jasen enjoys the sport just as much as they do.

”They are definitely brothers,” said Coach Nichols.

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On Saturday, Jasen had his big chance. Although the opposing team knew there was a visually-impaired player on the Raiders, they had no idea when he would be put in.

The Raiders had made their advance to first and goal. The coaches and the team had formulated a plan to ensure Jasen had his moment. Using a modified “wedge play,” the team put Jasen in position with the ball and good blocking. Every offensive player pushed hard against the opposing team and made sure Jasen made it across the goal line.

When the crowd realized the special moment that was happening, they erupted in cheers.

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Jason ran off toward the sideline, shared hugs with his coaches, and was celebrated for his accomplishment.

”We as parents admire his courage to play this sport,” said Melissa Macias Cisneros. She captured the moment on video and shared it with CVTV. “He gives it his all and doesn’t want any special treatment out on the field.”

Cisneros and other parents have become instant fans of Jasen’s courage. With children on the JV team, they often stay after watching their own children play to watch Jasen during his games.

”His passion and knowing the game of football without sight and his instincts to overcome has others on the team believing they can do anything,” Coach Nichols continued.

”He has no fear, what he brings to this team is something like no other I have coached for.”

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