Brooks County football player inspires community - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Brooks County football player inspires community

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October 4, 2006

Quitman - Rakeem Johnson has been deaf since birth, but that hasn't kept him from dreaming of playing football. "I've wanted to play football since first grade," Rakeem says via his interpreter Andrea Sheldon.

Now, in the 6th grade, he is practicing for his first home game on his first football team, the Brooks County Trojans. "I want to learn to run fast, continue to run fast and score some touchdowns!"

Despite his deafness, Rakeem has quickly become a valued player and his interpreter, Andrea Sheldon, a part of the team.  "She's a big part of the coaching staff.  She's there everyday.  She not only helps Rakeem but helps the other kids too.  She's a big part!  When she's out, the other kids ask where Coach Sheldon is," says Trojans Head Coach Charles Perry.

Only two games into the season and Rakeem is already working hard in school and on the field toward his goal of playing pro ball.  "I want to be the best football player!" Rakeem exclaims.

And so far, it's paying off.  "He's going to be a success if he keeps trying," Coach Perry adds.

Until then, he just hopes to help bring home the 4th straight region championship for his team.  The Trojans will play against Berrien County tomorrow night at 5:00 PM at the Brooks High School Stadium.

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