WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published September 11, 2013, 07:10 PM

Loss of Hearing, Not of Heart

Kittson County Central sophomore football player Josh Strom doesn't let hearing loss stop him from playing the game he loves.

By: Dan Corey, WDAZ

They’re the sounds of a football Friday. The whistle blowing. The popping of the pads. Fans cheering.

But for Kittson County Central sophomore Josh Strom, it sounds more like silence.

Strom, "It's a struggle because I really don't know when to stop hitting and when the whistle is being blown. Coach tells me to go hard and someone will have to grab me and tell me to stop."

Number 34 isn’t letting a hearing deficit stop him from being one of the boys. Instead, he’s tackling it head on.

"I don't really see why hearing loss should slow me down in anything."

And no one knows that better than Josh’s parents.

Karen Strom, mother, "He puts his mind to it that he wants to do something and he does it and he never has much doubt that he can't do something."

That message is being relayed on the field and in every activity.

Cory Waling, Kittson County Central head coach, "Great kid. Fun kid to have around whether it's football or basketball or just seeing him around the community. He's just one of the guys and I think that's just the way he wants it."

Karen Strom, "With Josh, he's never treated himself like he's disabled or has a handicap and because of that, I don't think other people treat him like that either."

Instead of his teammates running from the issue, they’re showing signs of support.

Skyler Slusar, Kittson County Central sophomore, "A, B, C, D and after that I start getting shaky but he can do it in three seconds."

Trent Jerome, Kittson County Central sophomore, "Sometimes it's a little different just because you have to change your playing style but I don't mind it one bit because he works hard."

All the time, no matter the sport.

Josh Strom, "I really enjoy doing these things because it challenges me and keeps me active and I don't like sitting still for one minute, I like to keep moving."