Blind boy's football call a great sight to see
The Lowell Sun
By Carmine Frongillo, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOWELL -- Brian McCauley is a young man with a vision -- even though he can't see.
Although this 15-year-old Tewksbury resident has been blind since birth, McCauley can picture himself one day working as a public address announcer or sports broadcaster for an NBA team.
McCauley loves sports, in particular the Boston Celtics and, more importantly, he loves life, living every day to the fullest.
A student at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, McCauley showed everyone he has plenty of game when it comes to calling a game while working the PA during the third quarter of Lowell Catholic's 26-6 football victory over Hyde Park last Saturday at Cawley Stadium.
"It was a cool experience," said McCauley. "It was a dream come true. I just tried to get all the facts in on every play. I wasn't nervous. I'd definitely like to pursue this in college."
Lowell Catholic PA announcer John Rafferty met McCauley while working the PA at a Lowell Spinners' game this summer. The two struck up a friendship and Rafferty offered McCauley a chance to work a quarter of a Crusaders' football game. McCauley quickly accepted. And with Rafferty working as his spotter, relaying him information, McCauley was certainly not a loss for words in his PA debut.
"He's a real go-getter and he has a million-dollar personality," said Rafferty. "He's just a wonderful kid. With all that life throws at you, it's easy to get down at times. And then you see a kid who can't see at all and he's just so positive and so happy.
"You could tell this opportunity meant a lot to him. He worked the PA during the third quarter and at halftime he was feeling the microphone and the buttons and the cord, just to kind of get used to it. He sat in the announcer's seat, and I put my arm around him and whispered what was going on. He took the information and put it in his own words. He did very well.
"It was a real humbling experience for me," continued Rafferty. "You could see that this was this kid's World Series or his NCAA final. This was his moment. I was just happy to share it with him."
McCauley enjoys listening to the calls of many sports broadcasters, especially his favorite announcers, Kenny Smith and Kevin Harlan.
"His enthusiasm got the crowd going," said Lowell Catholic Athletic Director Mickey Sullivan. "It's a heart-warming story. He doesn't hold his disability against the world. It was wonderful just listening to him. And he can banter with the best of them. When I met him I asked him if I owed him any money for doing this, and he jokingly told me he'd let me know."
McCauley did such a good job, he is going to work a quarter at another Lowell Catholic football game later this season.
"It was fun getting to do the PA for Lowell Catholic's football game," said McCauley. "I'm looking forward to working with John again. He's a cool guy."