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Blind three sport athlete demonstrates perseverance

by Natalie Rivers

azfamily.com

Posted on April 27, 2010 at 7:12 PM

COTTONWOOD - Cottonwood Mingus senior Travis Duwyenie shot a 76 at the state golf tournament last fall, he contributed significant minutes to the basketball team and this spring has hopes to make it to state in doubles tennis. He did all this despite the fact he is legally blind. The three-sport athlete is an inspiration to many even though he doesn't like to think so.

Since birth Travis has lived in a bit of a blurr. It wasn't until the third grade doctors diagnosed him with a disease that effects the retina and caused legal blindness.

Despite not having the ability to clearly see the tennis ball or only make out the red jersey of his basketball teammates he became a four year letterman in golf and basketball. Most of his opponents can't tell and it wasn't until about a year ago his tennis coach even realized he has a vision impairment.

"He's got an impairment that restricts his vision,” Coach Jeff Knight said.

Throughout his life he has tried different aids to see and methods to read, but he prefers to live like a regular kid.

"I don't really want to get sympathy and I don't blame losing on  my visual impairment either," he said.

Coach Knight said Travis is one of the top three players on the tennis team and also is a great student in the classroom, never using an excuse to not put in the work.

Next year Travis is going to attend Northern Arizona University and is currently working to finally get his driver's license.

The humble young man says it is an honor to know his friends and play with them.

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