Coronado High School football star works with team to overcome unique obstacles

Coronado High School football star works with team to overcome unique obstacles
Senior Wide Receiver Devin Morrison celebrates touchdown with team (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Coronado High School's undefeated varsity football team is headed to playoffs.

"10-0, it has been a blessing to me," said senior Devin Morrison, Coronado's No. 10 wide receiver.

"We are headed to state! As long as we play the best we can, I won't be upset about it. I will be proud of my team," Morrison said.

This is the first time in Coronado's history that they've finished a regular season 10-0, giving the team, and especially the seniors, a legacy to be proud of.

"We made the commitment to make Coronado better as a whole," said senior quarterback and Morrison's best friend, Qua Gray.

Quay and Morrison both describe the team as a family.

"If you don't know your teammates, then you don't even know who you are playing with, you are just playing for yourself, but if you know who you are playing with and you know you want the same thing that he wants, then you are going to do everything you can for your brother," Morrison said.

While every team faces challenges, this particular team has worked together to overcome a unique obstacle.

"I told them to treat me normal because that is what I want. I sit in the front of the class and that helps," Morrison said.

At a young age, doctors diagnosed Morrison with auditory neuropathy. This hearing impairment means sound enters Morrison's ear properly, but there is a problem with the transmission of that sound to the brain.

"I always read lips, that helps. I feel like if I look at their lips, I can hear it," Morrison said.

But reading lips on the football field can be difficult, so Morrison suggested using hand signals instead.

"I see it across the field and I can recognize the play," Morrison said.

Diamon Hughes is the receivers coach at Coronado. He developed the hand signals for the team.

"We used to use a lot of code names to switch plays and audibles, but now we go through basically sign language for him. That actually has helped us speed up our offense, but it also helps him understanding it," said Coach Hughes.

"That has basically changed us as a coaching staff to know that if we have a kid like that that is ready to persevere and push through a lot of things, that we can do anything that we set our mind to. He is basically the heart beat of the offense," Hughes said.

"He has the mind, the muscle and the speed," Gray said, quick to compliment his best friend and teammate.

The connection between Gray and Morrison is evident on and off the field. The best friends met in middle school.

"First time meeting, it's like we clicked instantly," Gray said. "We are like family, pretty much brothers."

Morrison said the friendship has eased the challenges of growing up with a hearing impairment.

"I am very proud to call this man my best friend. We have been through a lot and we made it here together and I wouldn't chose anybody else to be my best friend," Morrison said.

And a friendship Morrison wishes everyone could have.

"I will say, always have a friend to be beside you and lead you through the steps along the way. Everybody always needs help. You can always go to somebody for help. If you do that and learn how to not give up, then you can do anything," Morrison said.

Aside from hand signals, coaches also help with other adjustments that Morrison needs.

"When we played against Cooper it was really, really cold. It hurts my ears when it is cold. I told them it was going to be a struggle, but we are going to get through it because we always do," Morrison said.

Coaches Hughes said they do what they can to minimize the impact wind and temperature changes have on Morrison.

"When it's really cold, he hears very high pitched noises that really bother him. What we do for him is - we put tape over the ear part of the helmet," Hughes said.

"He never wanted anything different other than a chance and an opportunity. He is a great athlete and don't under estimate his athletic ability just because he is hearing impaired. He is a phenomenal athlete and that takes over once he just knows what to do," said Coronado Head Football Coach, Seth Parr.

"He is a house favorite and kids love him. All of the coaches, just if you had to take a kid, Devin would be one of the ones. His family does a great job of raising him," Parr said.

Parr said while people do admire Morrison for pushing through personal challenges, there are many other characteristics that stand out about Morrison.

"I think it's more about his work ethic, his honesty and his caring for other people," Parr said.

Coronado High School takes on the Randall Raiders in Amarillo on Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.

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