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Carver Cheeks and his hands

Mesa Ridge wide receiver Carver Cheeks has been incredible this season. He catches everything.

He's got 13 touchdowns for the Grizzlies this season. But, he's grateful that he can catch any passes at all.

"It's like I say, it's like waking up, brushing your teeth in the morning is really easy," Cheeks says.

Yes. For Carver Cheeks, catching a football is as easy as brushing his teeth.

"It's the best feeling ever. So when you hear the crowd going crazy, when you have highlight plays."

Like the mask he wore before the Rampart game, he's a nightmare for defenses.

"I'll tell you what, man, he's just he's a special talent," says Cheeks' coach Jerimi Calip.

Indeed, he's a special talent who has made some special catches this season, and he truly appreciates being able to make these spectacular snatches.

"I've seen how far I've came from last year, not really catching the ball, being scared, and now I'm going up making highlight plays."

Last year, he wasn't able to make highlight hauls.

He was thinking he was going to be out of football because of a lawnmower accident.

"First thing I could think of is I'm going to be out of football. I just knew that when I cut my fingers it was going to take time for me to get back."

He lost a portion of his fingertips on two of his fingers.

"I was working and I had had my headphones in and there was like the more kept going down. So then I tried to open up the side flap and I tried to open it up. It was still powering down. And I had a clip in my middle finger on my ring finger.

"It was burning. It was panic. I was panicking all my middle finger. It had came all the way across the whole top. And then on my ring finger it came halfway through, which is hanging. This one got chipped off that way. So basically when I put it up, that much is missing. And this one guy halfway through the middle had got cut across the whole top at an angle and it had to grow back over into the nail and then my half what had got cut had got cut halfway through and basically had to grow back over."

Carver did play the 2021 season, but only on defense, except for that one time when he convinced his coach to let him play offense.

"We put in him in quarterback overthrows and whatever he lays out and catches it, his fingertips go one way," Calip says. "He catches the ball and he gets up and I'm just like, Are you serious right now? But that's just what kind of kid he is."

That's right. His fingertips fell off.

"The finger-he had silicone fingertips and they flew off like you can let him catch the ball and the fingertips go. It was really funny."

That's how much Carver loves football.

"In my opinion, any kid that has that type of mental and physical toughness... What are you waiting for? Like, you know, he's he's he's going to be special at the next level," Calip says.

Carver is hoping to play at the next level. He's just waiting to catch on somewhere.

"Yeah, I look at them every day just to see, like, where I came from and how it is now, how I'm able to catch with something that happened like this to my fingers," Cheeks says.

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Danny Mata

Danny Mata is a sports anchor/reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Danny here.


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