Devin Holmes is thriving in the PAL football league. He fits in just like any one of his teammates. There is just one difference; Devin was born with profound hearing loss and cannot wear his cochlear implants while playing sports. Being a deaf football player hasn’t held him back at all though!
“Being deaf makes my journey different from the other kids on my team,” said Devin, “I have to communicate differently, a lot of times without using ASL.” American Sign Language is Devin’s first language. When he began playing football three years ago, he was lucky enough that a team mom knew ASL and was able to assist him with communication. However, now, through concerted efforts by this mom and the coaches, they have devised various techniques to assist him with communication during practices and games. Devin’s coaches and teammates have learned certain ASL signs that help Devin and they devised signals and a color code system to communicate football techniques and plays! Devin’s team has really come together and proven that working together as a team is the key to success!
“My biggest fear initially for Devin was his ability to fit in with his teammates,” said Gail Holmes, Devin’s mother, “Fortunately, this fear was soon eliminated! He and his teammates bonded pretty easily. He’s simply accepted and treated as one of the family. They encourage and support one another with love and respect.”
In addition to working hard on the football field, Devin also pushes himself to succeed in the classroom. “Devin makes the balance between school and sports easy because he genuinely loves both!” exclaimed Gail, “He’s diligent about maintaining a 3.5 GPA as well as asserting himself as a leader among his classmates.” Devin sets his own schedule and makes sure to get all of his homework done before heading off for football practice.
Devin attends East Hills Middle School and will be moving into the 9th grade n the fall. His favorite school subject is math. He hopes to one day attend Michigan State University and eventually become a football coach.