Local football star battles disease on and off the field

High schooler Hunter Norment talks about difficulty with Type 1 diabetes

By Max Massey - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - You may have heard of diabetes, have it, or know someone who deals with the disease every day. 

Type 1 diabetes means the body does not produce insulin, and if you don't monitor your body well, it can be deadly. The constant struggle gets in the way of many peoples' lives across the country as well as the world.

But Hunter Norment, a local football player, sat down with KSAT 12's Max Massey just days before he was set to play in the San Antonio Sports All-Star High School Football Game to discuss how he takes his disease, runs with it and uses it as motivation.

What does Type 1 diabetes mean for your football career?

“If my sugars get way too high I could die out there. We check it all throughout the game like 4, 5 times at half time and we check it before, every day all day,” Norment said.

Norment is a senior at Pleasanton High School and keeps his insulin device with him at all times, because he has to.

“I have to give myself shots to keep living every day,” Norment said.

A lot of people may not understand how the disease comes about or how much maintenance you need to survive, but it’s no easy task.

“It’s just difficult to figure out how to control it throughout the game and trying to keep the sugars in check with the emotions going on," Norment said.

And it wasn’t easy for the Norment family to figure out how to make football work, but they did it by Hunter’s mom meeting with the coaches and configuring a game plan of their own.

“We were all gonna figure it out game by game situation by situation and I think it takes everybody it takes a village to raise a Type 1 diabetic kid,” Debbie Norment said.

How do you use Type 1 diabetes as motivation?

“I do it a little bit to prove the point even though you have a disease it doesn’t hold you back,” Norment said.

Hunter isn’t just getting by with this disease, he is thriving at seemingly everything he puts his mind to.

The high school senior has won countless awards on the football field, in the classroom and in his steer judging competitions.

“He could’ve used type one diabetes as a crutch to get out of things or whatever but he never did that I can’t remember a practice where he didn’t finish a drill or running,” Stephen Liska, the Pleasanton High School football coach, said.

Coach Liska said Hunter is a great role model for the younger players and younger students.

“He understood the grind of the game playing both sides of the ball and long snapper to run and recover punts too he never used it as a crutch,” Liska said.

What do you tell kids you’ve talked to who also have Type 1 diabetes?

“Keep doing what you love. Push forward and don’t let anybody tell you can’t,” Norment said.

Next year, Hunter said he is set to head to college and major in agribusiness. As for his parents, they said they couldn’t be more proud.

“The skies are the limit. There’s nothing to hold him back just check his sugars and go on that’s what we say,” Debbie Norment said.

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