RIVERSIDE, Calif. - On Saturday night, the California School for the Deaf Cubs football team took down Faith Baptist to win their division's CIF championship, their second consecutive state title. On Monday, the team was honored with a victory parade.
The streets were lined with students from the school. There are some 400 students from 18 months to the high school level. The campus houses three schools, including an elementary, middle and high school, all in different buildings.
Before the on-campus parade, members of the team talked about their experience this season.
"I feel honored to have my son on my team," coach Keith Adams said, through an interpreter. His son Kaden Adams plays quarterback. "Last year, my older son got the championship, so this year I was hoping for Kaden to get the championship, and sure enough, two years in a row, both of my boys."
For the school, the back-to-back championships were a big deal.
It was done in the old style, with the player getting the play from the coach on the sidelines.
"He would sign us the plays from the sideline and then we do whatever he tells us to do," Kaden Adams said about his dad, through an interpreter.
To the players, the consecutive championships are proof that they're just as good as anyone else. And they don't like hearing what the other players say anyway.
"Yeah, I don't hear their trash talk," said Kaden Adams. "It doesn't make a difference. I don't hear what they're saying. I focus on my game."
"We're still human," said wide receiver Gio Visco. "We just play the game. We play the game like anyone else."
"Don't think of us as just deaf people," Kaden Adams said. "We are people. Deaf and hearing can both play the game."
"Deaf people can do everything except hear," said defensive end Kai Davis. "All I can say is, ‘Don’t underestimate us.'"