MODESTO (CBS13) — A high-school football team made the postseason with a different kind of communication, as three of their players are deaf.
Friday was the biggest game of the season for Downey High School. They faced state powerhouse Grant High School in the second round of the playoffs.
“They’ve all fought hard to be here,” said father Dwayne Heller.
The cheers blared from the bleachers and onto the field. Everyone could hear the excitement, except for three Downey football players.
Jed McGuire and Omar Ruiz were born deaf, while Alejandro Lobato lost his hearing in an accident at the age of 5.
The three can’t hear anything on the field, so they pay closer attention to what’s going on around them.
“When they’re out on the field getting their attention that’s the hardest part,” said interpreter Cathy Johnson. “Other than that I don’t see anything different.”
Johnson’s in her second year with the team. She says big moments on the field are just as exciting for her as it is for her players.
The coaches and the rest of the team worked on learning how to sign so they could all communicate with each other.
Downey’s season came to an end on Friday night, falling 63-21 to Grant.
The school is the only high school in the Modesto school district with a program for deaf students.