Deaf Salem football player continues to beat odds

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

SALEM, Va. - The Salem High School football team has overcome countless obstacles this season in order to make it to the state championship this weekend. 

But for one player, it's been a little more difficult than for most.

Brad Moushegian is busy getting ready for Salem's state championship football game on Saturday. 

"I've been deaf since my whole life," said Brad.

We first introduced you to Brad back in 2002, when he was 3 years old and had just received his cochlear implant. 

But that's not the only obstacle Brad has faced. He also has Type 1 diabetes.

"We've always tried to push him to do what he wanted to do, to go out there and act like a normal kid and do those things and, you know, there's been challenges, but he wanted to do it and he did it and we figured out a way to work around those setbacks," said Jeff Moushegian, Brad's father.

Jeff said one of those setbacks was figuring out how to fit the cochlear implant under his helmet. 

"It's basically held on by some toupee tape and when he gets sweaty or gets hit hard, it'll knock that loose," said Jeff.

"Sometimes I get hit. I just put it right back on," said Brad.

In the huddle, under the Friday night lights, Brad said it can be difficult to hear, but he's trained himself to make sure he never misses a beat. 

"I just got to look at the coaches, the players, look at the words. I mostly look at their lips," said Brad.

Coach Stephen Magenbauer said the team has made adjustments too, but they treat him just like everyone else. 

"If he does something great, we're going to praise him. If he does something bad, we're going to get all over him," said Magenbauer.

He said Brad sets an example the whole team can learn from. 

"I think I'm just so proud of him from the standpoint that he doesn't make any excuse for himself whatsoever and he never would," said Magenbauer. "He's part of the solution, part of the team that helps them win, and not a problem"

Brad wants one more win, though -- the state championship -- and for him, it's about much more than just a game. 

"I'm thankful for the football team. I'm thankful I can play and I can hear," said Brad.

Copyright 2017 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.