A junior at St. John’s College in DC didn’t let hearing loss stop him from playing for one of the nation’s top high school football teams.
Shane Messenger was born with hearing loss in both ears.
“Probably one of my biggest daily challenges,” he said.
The kicker hopes to play for a Division I program in college.
“When I was younger, what I liked the most was always football,” he said. “I still watch football, I spent a lot of my Sundays watching football grow.”
But doctors gave bad news to his family.
“They told us he wouldn’t be able to play contact sports because it could make him completely deaf all at once,” said his mother, Eileen Messenger.
He started kicking because there is less chance of being tackled.
He says hearing aids help, but they don’t always work all over the place.
“At kickoff, when they whistle, I have to ask someone around me if they whistle or not,” Messenger said. “There were times when there were communication problems. “
Messenger was also born with knee problems requiring seven surgeries to fix them.
He’s thriving on the football field now, earning player of the match recognition twice this season.
“Definitely happy to be here, to play at a high level like I always wanted,” he said. “There are things in life that get in the way; you just gotta find a way to keep going.