Seven-year-old A.J. Moncman is the son of Tim Moncman, a Parkland High School (Allentown, PA) football Defensive Coordinator. After the Pennsylvania State Championship quarterfinal game between Parkland and Philadelphia’s LaSalle High School (LaSalle went on to the Semifinal game), Bill spotted A.J. and a friend on the field having some fun with some of the guys on the team, playing with a football.

It was an overcast day and Bill was puzzling over why the little boy was wearing sunglasses. As he continued to observe the football shenanigans, it suddenly became apparent that A.J. was blind. But being blind was not holding him back—not by a long shot.

And football is not the only sport that A.J. plays. He’s also an avid T-Ball player and swimmer. And if that were not impressive enough, A.J. is one of 60 students from the U.S. and Canada who competed in the 12th annual National Braille Challenge in San Franciso in June 2012.

Talking on the field with A.J.’s mom, Kim Moncman, Bill and I learned that A.J. has been blind since birth, a victim of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a retinal degenerative disease.

Kim, the men’s and women’s swim coach at Saucon Valley High School, said A.J.’s been reading his books at home to stay fluent with his fingers and practice sounding out words. He especially loves his Magic Tree House books, she said.

A.J. has an older sister and the entire family is active in fund raising for retinal diseases.