When GFC’s Malachi Ereaux steps on the field every day, he has to battle more than just the players he’s blocking.
“I grew up blind in my right eye, I cannot see out of it physically,” said Malachi. “The nerves have been damaged since birth, so it is smaller than the average eye and ten times more sensitive.”
Growing up with one eye has its challenges. Malachi said simple things like doing school work or even getting dressed in the morning reminded him of the reality of his situation.
“I feel like it’s helped me as a person to understand the true value of your sight,” he said. “You lose something; you don’t understand the true value of it until it’s gone.”
However, the senior lineman has been able to turn a blind eye to his situation, and has found ways to excel on the football field.
“When you only have one eye, you have to be more visual. You have to turn your head more often,” said Malachi. “As a bigger guy, I have to be more physical, more active - I have to make sure I don’t get blind-sighted too often, so… I guess that’s a joke, but I really just fight through it.”
For head coach Greg Horton, seeing one of his athletes preserve has been an eye-opening experience for the entire Mustang program.
“For having just that one eye, he is one heck of a football player,” said Horton. “He definitely forces me to learn how to be a better coach, so I think maybe that his legacy is that he gets to leave here feeling like he’s a Mustang football player, and he’s just as good - if not better - than those who have come before him. I guess that’s what I want for him.”
Now in his final year of high school, Malachi has his sights set on the future, and he hopes his story can be a welcomed sight for anyone battling a similar situation.
“It’s a part of you. Whether it was an accident, or you were born with it, it is a part of you. bI may be without my eye, but I see the world as it is, and I continue forward. It doesn’t block me, it doesn’t stop me. I keep going.”