GREAT FALLS — Jeremy Fisher is a senior student athlete at Great Falls CMR High School. As a part of the Rustlers football team, he goes though the normal football routine consisting of practices and games, but he does it all without one of his senses.
Fisher suffers from hearing loss, making him the first deaf player to join CMR’s football program. This is the first year that Fisher has ever played football, and he didn’t want anything to stop him from doing it. Despite not being able to hear, Fisher is excited to be apart of the team and happy that his teammates and coaches are welcoming and accepting.
Fisher says that is sometimes challenging to communicate with his teammates and coaches, but he accepts the challenge and likes that they all do their best to learn from him and communicate with him.
There is no interpreter for Fisher when he is out on the field at games nor at practice, so his coaches have come up with ways that make it easier to communicate in a timely manner.
“There is a lot of white board conversations going on,” said head coach Dennis Morris. “The cell phone is our very best friend that awe have so we can communicate with Fisher that way. Coach Greenwall actually brings his phone out to the football field now so he can quickly say what he wants to say to Fisher and get the message done.”
Morris also mentioned that the football system is very helpful to Fisher when it comes to play calling because each one is represented by a sign or signal. He says that once Fisher understood what the signals meant, he did a pretty good job.
Fisher is a quarterback on the JV roster and he enjoys it, but he wants to switch positions and start playing as a wide receiver. He finds excitement in the idea of breaking his defenders ankles while running routes on his way to scoring touchdowns. He was rewarded an opportunity to play a few possessions in a varsity game when they had a big lead against Belgrade.
“It started with our student section,” said Morris. “Jeremy makes a good impact on pour student section. From behind us, you could hear ‘Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy’…we were able to get him in that Belgrade game and he would run a couple snaps. The crowd goes wild, kids were cheering, and it was a special moment for our team and Jeremy as well.”
Fisher expressed that he is thankful and appreciative for the CMR football program for allowing him to play. He says his dream for after he graduates is to go play football at the University of Michigan.