Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Just a Few Extra Steps Hearing-Impaired Student at Brentwood Honored as Inspirational Player of the Year

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Just a Few Extra Steps Hearing-Impaired Student at Brentwood Honored as Inspirational Player of the Year

Article excerpt

Brentwood High senior Mike Cliver has had to take an unusual approach to athletics.

On the football field, he relies on signed instructions from the sidelines to determine which play to run. On the basketball court, he waits for color-coded cards to indicate whether to play zone or man-to-man defense. On the track, an interpreter illustrates when the gunman has started the race.

Cliver, who is severely hearing impaired, relies on such means to allow him to do what other teen-agers do much more simply. But other than those few extra steps he has to take, he sees himself the same as any other high schooler. "Anything I can't do? I never thought that way," said Cliver, wearing a shirt reading, "Fear Tastes Like Chicken." "I just keep doing what I can do." For his drive and determination in overcoming obstacles, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame has selected him as its Inspirational Player of the Year in the St. Louis area. The 18-year-old Ballwin resident, who will graduate from high school and the Special District Hearing Impaired program this month, will be honored Sunday at the annual awards banquet of the St. Louis chapter of the College Hall. As a wide receiver and safety for Brentwood's varsity football team in t he fall, Cliver had three catches for 20 yards and 12 tackles. As co-captain of the school's basketball team, he averaged 3.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game and made 11 3-pointers. On the track team, his best time in his best event, the 400 meters, is 53.8 seconds. Cliver also has been a four-year honor roll student at Brentwood, as well as a member of the Student Task Force, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Deaf Teen Club, the Personal Respect and Responsibility committee and a volunteer aide to pre-school children in a program for hearing-impaired students. He attends mainstream high school courses that are buttressed by resource services at Brentwood High, where about 30 hearing-impaired students attend school. Beyond that, he has been a strong role model for all students, said his resource teacher, Kathy Biedenstein. As one of the first severely hearing-impairedstudents at Brentwood High, Cliver has shown other students that people like him don't have to be limited in what they can do. …

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