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Deaf team a force to be reckoned with in Calif. high school football (video)

Dec 3, 2012, 1:24 PM EDT

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CSD

I’ve had the privilege of watching California School for the Deaf’s football team compete on several occasions. They’re from Fremont, Calif., and have been a staple on public high school practice schedules for many years. Usually that meant an easy win for the public school. But not anymore.

CSD finished 6-1 to win its league title, and made it to the CIF Playoff semifinals before losing, 13-12. They were 10-2 overall with three shutouts and one 57-7 win … several of those victories over public schools.

CSD is fun to watch: they play at a crisp pace, using sign language and color-coded signs on the sidelines. But the real inspiration comes from their attitude and the nature of what they’ve had to overcome in order to succeed. NBC News:

And they preached speed in practice and during the actual games — each snap no more than seven seconds from the referee’s spot of the ball. Talk about a quick strike offense — opposing coaches found themselves mystified by the voiceless whirlwind of these smaller, quicker players who racked up 329 points in 11 games.

Said one opposing coach, “They can talk to each other and don’t have to create a new language. As a matter of fact, we may be at a disadvantage.”

And you have to appreciate the sports-as-a-laboratory-for-life part of this story. As coach Keller put it, “We want to prepare these kids the best we can for the rest of their lives. No matter how hard we push them, we want to prepare them for real life.”

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