Travis Freeman cannot see the football. He cannot see the goalposts or his teammates or opponents bearing down on him, trying to get to his quarterback.
In between plays, his teammates help him to and from the huddle and position him over the ball.From then on, Freeman is on his own.
The play starts with his snap of the ball and usually ends with him still blocking, awaiting the referee's whistle.
Freeman is blind, but that has not kept the 17-year-old senior from playing center for the Corbin High School Redhounds in this town of 9,000 in southern Kentucky.
"At times it's confusing, at times it's scary, but most of the time, once I get off the ball and I get my hands on someone, it's just like blocking like I could see," he says. "Sometimes it may be even better that I can't see, because . . . I don't rely on the visual technique of their being able to fake me out."
Freeman, robbed of his sight five years ago by bacterial meningitis, does not start but plays in nearly every game.
"If someone's lined up on him, he's going to do as good a job on him as anybody would," Corbin coach Mike Whitaker says. "As far as effort and trying to do what we ask all of them to do, he does everything. He runs sprints blind - he does everything that he can possibly do.
"Travis does as much for us as an inspirational leader as he would if he were an outstanding football player and he could see."
At the end of a recent practice, Freeman was paired with a teammate to run sideline-to-sideline sprints. At the end, Freeman was pulling the other player to the finish.
"Pick it up Kenneth," he yelled. "Don't give in to it, Kenneth."