Athlete of the Week: K'Shaun Gilmer

Athlete of the Week: K'Shaun Gilmer

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The first Athlete of the Week this season is a football player from Scott High school, who has been an inspiration to his teammates and coaches both on and off the field.

K'Shaun Gilmer is a sophomore and starting center for the Bulldogs. But he doesn't get the same experience that most of us do at a football game.

He doesn't hear the crowd, the band or even the quarterback calling the play.

When Gilmer was six-months-old, his mother Caniecia Arney noticed that wasn't reacting to loud noises. She took him to an audiologist and found K'Shaun was deaf.

"At first I was devastated," said Arney. "18-years-old finding out your newborn baby can't here, I just thought the world was over. But when he turned about two-years-old, that's when I knew I had something on my hands real special."

Being the center has been compared to being the quarterback of the offensive line. The Bulldogs have had to made some adjustments with Gilmer.

He doesn't hear a snap count, so he has to watch the quarterback.

Gilmer has a translator at school, practice and games. His teammates help him get through all the communication barriers.

"They help me on defense, and on blocking and telling me who I need to block. There is just a whole list of things and changes that they've needed to make to help me," said Gilmer.

Despite this, Gilmer hasn't let anything limit his ability to play, and he is inspiring everyone that watches him.

"You don't even understand how proud I am," said Arney. "He has not limits to what he does. To see him get out there and do everything that he does, without me having to push him or make him do anything. It's a blessing within itself."

Scott High School coach Mark Weaver said that although everything has to be a little more visual, that doesn't affect Gilmer's performance.

"Sometimes, I think the kid can actually hear. It just amazes me how well he communicates without speaking. It's truly impressive, and he's a heck of a center too. He gets the job done on a regular basis," Weaver said.

It's not just football for Gilmer. He also plays basketball, baseball and he golfs.

"It gives him something to look forward to. He loves sports," Arney said."I'd rather him be playing sports than out here hanging around in the streets and becoming a gang member and into drugs. He stays on a field, a court, a course, he's out there."

"It does help me," Gilmer said. "I have a lot of fun with the team and the coach. We have a lot of fun together."

Sports has been a way for Gilmer to be like every other kid growing up.

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