Student Athlete of the Week: Holman Defeats Adversity On and Off the Field

ACKERMAN, Miss. (WCBI) —  Choctaw County’s Tyler Holman has never heard a blown whistle.

He was born deaf.

Most see it as difficult. Some call it adversity. Tyler calls it normal.

“It’s the same thing,” junior running back and defensive lineman Tyler Holman said. “The same thing.”

Those who know Tyler say, he’s just an ordinary kid. .

“They’ll tell me sometimes Tyler said this or he said that and i look at  them think ‘hmm…,” Tyler’s translator and assistant Joann Johnson said. “Then they just laugh and go like they really are talking to each other.”

Communicating is yet another challenge Tyler has overcome.

He’s mastered the art of lip-reading, and if there’s one thing Tyler loves outside of football, it’s the x’s and o’s of math.

“Football is number one. Number two is math,” Johnson said. “He is really good with figures.”

“I can see the numbers,” Holman said. “I love playing football.”

“You know sometimes in this business you have to worry about people practicing the right way,” Choctaw County head football coach Ben Ashley said.  “You don’t have to worry about that with Tyler. He brings a whole lot of energy to the practice field every day. He plays with a great deal of emotion and he plays hard.”

Number 30 wasn’t always one of the first players to hit the gridiron. In fact, it wasn’t until  he told Ashley that if you put him in, he’d score some points. In his first starting game, he had his very own touchdown.

“Just a burst. When he got to the second level, he was gone,” Ashley said. “That one snippet right there told me he was a football player. That he was an explosive athlete that could play this game and play at a high level. It was up to me to figure out how to get him on the same page.”

“Winning,” Holman said. “That’s cool.”

“There’s nobody out there with him but somehow we make it work,” Ashley said. “I would say that the majority of that is him making it work. Sometimes I try to put myself in his shoes from that perspective. How much better would I be if I just focused in and honed in on my job? He just makes us all better.”

For Tyler, football has become his own way to communicate with the world. On the field, life sounds crystal clear.

“When something changes and he’s on the field we have somebody specifically assigned to make sure he gets the information,” Ashley said.

Tyler Holman’s infectious personality shows from when he does formulas in the library to first snap on a Friday night.

When the lights come on that’s when Tyler goes off.

Holman and Choctaw County take on Eupora on the road on Friday, September 14th.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, Student Athlete of the Week

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