10-year-old football player tackles his own challenges

NORTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - October 8, 2010

Michael says the best thing about playing football is, "When you win and when you're down in the 4th quarter, it's really fun," Michael said.

But what makes this young man so inspirational is that he's out there banging heads and playing football, despite the fact that he has been blind since birth.

"Still not sure exactly how far he can see, we're guessing it's about 5 feet, and within that, it's maybe 10% of what you and I have," Michael's mom Kristin said.

While Michael needs help getting to the huddle and lining up for plays, his coaches say he has a keen football instinct and he can distinguish colors.

That allows him to find the guy he's supposed to block on any given play.

"We're running right, he steps right; we're running left, he steps left and he executes his blocks as well as anybody on the team, if not better, because he has a feel for what's going on," Michael's coach Dale Balasco said.

Michael's parents admit they were terrified the first time he stepped out onto the gridiron, but this whole experience falls perfectly within their plan to encourage their son to focus on what he can do instead of being limited by what he cannot do.

"We don't ever want to tell him, you can't do something, we want to find creative ways to find solutions to have him conquer his challenges," Michael's father said.

And in the middle of all this talk about courage and inspiration, Michaels says he just wants to play football

Michael says he's been able to do that by sticking to a simple credo: "Just stay with it and you can overcome it."

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