The large majority of high school football players know what it is like to play through an injury, waiting until the offseason for a particular ailment to be healed.
North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie senior Andrew Moles never had that luxury. Every time he strapped on his helmet and ran onto the field, he battled much more than a physical ailment.
Moles is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, but that didn’t stop him from playing the game he loves. The Bulldogs second-string defensive end was a key contributor both at practice and in games.
Later this month, the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association will honor Moles as one of a handful of recipients of the Paul Costello Courageous Player Award at its annual banquet at Lantana’s in Randolph. It is awarded to football seniors who have played while physically challenged, endured a hardship or in some way have served an inspiration to their teams.
“Playing football at North Shore Tech is one of the greatest experiences of my life. It taught me so much about football and life in general,” said Moles, who lives in Danvers. “(The award) is a huge honor. When I found out, I was speechless.”
Recently retired Bulldogs’ head coach Paul Worth, on the other hand, was overflowing with compliments about what he considers to be one of the hardest working kids he’s coached.
“It speaks volumes to the character of the boy himself. He knew what his disabilities were, but he continued to try and continued to compete. He’s going to be a great success in life because he’s willing to compete no matter the difficulty,” said Worth.
“Some kids we’ve had have been really gifted, but they don’t work at it and it’s a shame. But this kid worked at everything.”