FREEDOM, Wis. (WFRV) – This week’s Xceptional athlete is the epitome of the word. Not only is he tasked with roughing things up in the trenches as a lineman on both sides of the ball, but he also works hard for those who look up to him.

As a member of the Menominee tribe, Freedom’s Awaeseah Gray has played football ever since seventh grade. Although the current senior wasn’t a fan of the sport at first, his teammates’ support drove him to love the game.

From his mom, Laietta Gray, to his dad, James Gray, to his stepdad, Justin Gauthier, Awaeseah’s support system runs deep, and the high school senior they call Bear is just getting started in his pursuit as a leader.

In fact, come December, the 6’5 lineman is on his way to California to represent his tribe in the annual Indigenous Bowl, which brings together 60 high school seniors, of Native American descent, to compete in an NFL stadium. This year’s venue is Sofi Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. Gray realizes the monumental impact his involvement has on both his tribe and his personal life.

Check out the full video above to learn why Awaeseah is nicknamed Bear, and his reaction to hearing that he’d be competing on an NFL field.