-- When you ask people about Jake Hampton, you only hear good things. He's inspiring the class of 2014 by setting an example. Jake is doing what he loves, no matter what.
He's the kind of athlete every coach wants on his team.
"If I had to give one word for him it would be a warrior," said Brandon Gregory, Head Football Coach at Francis Howell North.
He's the type of player team mates look up to. Among this year's Francis Howell North football team captains is senior Jake Hampton.
"My favorite part about playing football is about being with the teams, having fun with the team," explained Jake Hampton, senior at Francis Howell North.
The defensive lineman has been deaf since he was two. Jake usually wears an implant to help him hear, but not out on the field.
"I take it off and I just play without it," said Hampton.
Jake doesn't want to risk damaging his cochlear implant. He can't hear the whistle, but number 58 has a secret play.
"I have an interpreter that helps me on the field."
Sign language interpreter Traci Edelen is perfect for the job.
"Both my parents are deaf and my dad played all through high school. My mom was the cheerleader right there with him," said Edelen.
Traci and Jake communicate in the huddle. On the field his eyes stay on the interpreter and the ball.
"That's where the actual football huddle came from, from a deaf football team, so that nobody else could see their plays," explained Edelen.
The only thing visibly setting Jake apart from other players is a piece of tape on the back of his helmet.
"Before each game I just let the ref know that he is a deaf kid and yah know with that being said he can't hear the whistle," said Gregory.
"We make sure that he can understand the plays, we make sure that he can understand the other players, we make sure that he understand the talks that are in the locker room," explained Edelen.
Jake doesn't see himself as an inspiration
"I love playing football. All I have to do is watch the ball when the ball goes you go," said Hampton.
He sees himself as a high school football player living his dream every Friday night.