Deaf California HS football team playing for state championship
Riverside’s California School for the Deaf is preparing to play for a state championship.
The Cubs won their division last Friday, propelling them to the state title game and continuing what has been a miraculous undefeated season.
“We can do anything,” running back Enos Zornoza said through a sign language interpreter. “Deaf people can do anything. We’re not this stereotype that’s out there.”
California School for the Deaf is the only all-deaf public high school football team in Southern California. Prior to this season, they had never had a winning season, let alone an undefeated one. Their coach, who is also deaf, signs the plays in from the sideline and players sign them to each other without their opponent being able to pick up on the communication.
“The world looks at CSTR like, ah, they stink, their program is awful. You know? Oh, they never had a good season,” wide receiver Jory Valencia said. “Here we are. OK, that’s fired us up. And now we’re destroying every game. We’re showing the world we can play.”
While this season has been one for the ages, California School for the Deaf is not done just yet. The Cubs will play for a state championship on Saturday, looking to bring home some hardware and shock the state in the process.
“This is history for us,” Zornoza said. “We have one more. We are not done. We have unfinished business. Championship is on the way.”