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Sweetwater defensive end playing with Stargardt Disease

8:59 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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Eli Blomstrom's one of best players on the Sweetwater football team. He ranks second on the team in tackles and sacks, which makes his story even more amazing.

"I can not see out of my center vision. So everything I see I have to look out the sides of my eyes," Eli explains.

Ten years ago, doctors diagnosed Eli with Stargardt Disease. He is legally blind. The only way he sees it through his peripheral.

"I didn't notice it as much, because I guess when you're a kid you don't really notice stuff like that. It was more like me pointing stuff out and thinking it was something else."

Eli can't drive. He can't even read a normal school book, but he was determined to not let it take away his dream of playing football."

"Eli is probably the most athletic player on our team, and he was having trouble getting on the field. We decided to move him to defensive end on that last scrimmage. He's just blossomed there. He's our second leading tackler, second in sacks," Sweetwater head coach Craig Moser explained.

Eli says there can be some advantages to his condition. I try and look at the advantages too. Like I can see out of my peripheral vision, there's more going on in your peripheral, so I can feel more of what's around me."

They say the best football players have the ability to read the field. Perhaps seeing isn't just about vision, but rather your perspective.

"It's all I know. It's what I've adapted to."

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