Deaf Football Team Goes 12-0 On Its Way to California State Championship
A varsity football team in California is impressing the state’s athletic world, as the limited 23-player roster has gone undefeated 12-0 though all 23 players and their coach are deaf.
They don’t play in a hard of hearing league, they are beating hearing teams, sometimes by huge margins, all the while using American Sign Language to communicate on the field.
The Cubs varsity team from Riverside California have no pedigree of success. They’ve lost every single game for the previous seven seasons. Now their incredible transformation, which has landed the school in the championship game for the first time in its history, has drawn an endless stream of well-wishes and messages, including from NFL franchises.
Like all the most successful teams in any sport, the players explain they are taking their incredible season “one game at a time, one practice at a time,” ABC, speaking to the players using an ASL translator, reports.
“Now we’re just destroying every game. We’re showing the world we can play. We’re not losing anymore,” Wide Receiver Jory Valencia said.
“We can do anything. Deaf people can do anything, we’re not this stereotype that’s out there,” said running back Enos Zornoza. “We’re breaking news that we can do it right. And not just our school here but other schools for the deaf can do it as well.”
The Cinderella story was not to have the most storybook of endings, as the Cubs fell short in the final against Faith Baptist, who had made the final 18 times in the last 37 years.
“It feels overwhelming,” Cubs head coach Keith Adams told NBC LA. “It’s been nonstop, getting messages, you know, congratulations and well-wishes. My email is blowing up. I’ve had some NFL head coaches—the Tennessee Titans have sent me congratulations. It’s just been amazing.”