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www.wmfd.com - A Kentucky judge spends his Friday nights making stadium announcements for a high school football team and that may not sound impressive, until you realize he can't *see* the players, the field, or anything else. }}" />

Blind Kentucky Judge Calls High School Football Games

Story By: Larry Stine



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  Original Published: 10/6/2013 A Kentucky judge spends his Friday nights making stadium announcements for a high school football team. That may not sound impressive, until you realize he can't *see* the players, the field, or anything else. Connie Leonard introduces us to a blind football announcer with some surprising insights on the game. "I don't have any perspective of how things look but I have a lot of perspective of how things sound." For Judge David Holton, being effective in court means: projecting, keeping your energy up, and your temper down. That's also true in sports. Arriving early for every Western home game, the first and currently "only" blind judge in Kentucky, Holton is likely the state's only blind public address announcer too. "Here you go. You're here." "All right. We're in the house." The judge says when he was asked to "call his first game" he knew "who to call" and what to say. "I need somebody to be my eyes. Can you be my eyes? And I said yeah, what time and where do you want me to be?" said Thomas Paterson, Holton's assistant. Longtime companion and guide dog "Buddy" isn't the only one who travels with Holton. Friend and attorney Thomas Patterson stays by his side. "I'm basically a play-by-play guy in his ear," says Patterson. "Carlos Hernandez on the tackle. Gain of one on the play; it's second-and-nine," called Holton. Brilliantly seemless. The crowd below has no idea Holton has no view of the game. "I can't see anything at all," he says, calling, "It's going to be a first down. First down Warriors!" "I try to get across what I would need to know if I were there in the stadium," Holton says. Holton played football as a boy until a tumor caused him to lose his sight. The press box is as close as he's been to the game since. The toughest part? The pressure of "getting it right," just like his first years on the bench. "I knew there'd be more scrutiny on me because I can't see," Holton admitted. Knowing he cares so much, and gives it his best effort, makes his play-by-play parner pretty proud. "It's satisfying to me when people down there don't know that there's a blind guy up there. That means we're doing it right. That means he's getting it right, which is what's important to him," Patterson says. "Touchdown," calls Holton. "Touchdown Warriors!" Judge Holton was also invited to call a Kentucky state high school football championship game back in 2011.
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