Utah School for the Deaf makes history with new football team

Aug 17, 2022, 6:13 PM | Updated: Aug 18, 2022, 10:17 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind has a new, eight person co-ed football team.

The school’s associate superintendent, Michelle Tanner, said this is a program students have begged for over the years.

“When students come to you and say, ‘I want something,’ you want so badly to give it to them,” she said. “To have it for this year, to say, ‘You’ve got it!’ I’m excited for them.”

There’s currently one female player on the team. They’re recruiting more.

“She is very athletic,” said Head Coach Brian Tingley. “She is probably one of our top competitors here.”

The team has only had four practices together. Tingley said they’re working on the basics of football.

“Our kids do not have the experience,” he said. “They haven’t acquired those skills yet.”

Tanner said it’s because they haven’t had the opportunity. She said the communication barrier can make it difficult for deaf and hard of hearing students to participate in sports.

The athletes practice on an unmarked, 80-yard field.

This team will travel to schools around the state for games. Tingley said all of the other rules are the same.

“The difference for us is, we’re not going to have a cadence of our huddle looking down, we’re just having to look at the ball,” he said. “Once that snap is hit, we’re ready to go.”

It’s a field of dreams for many of the students participating, like sophomore John Dietz.

“I wanted to be a part of football; it’s my very favorite sport,” he said. “I watch it all the time. I always wanted to play.”

The dream is to play against other schools for the deaf across the country.

The team’s first game is against White Horse High School on Sept. 3.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Cottonwood High lines up for a free kick following a fair catch against Jordan High. (KSL Sports)...
Andrew Adams

Coach, kicker & official reflect on Cottonwood High’s rare, game-winning play

Cottonwood defeated Jordan High after the Colts attempted and converted a free kick for three points with 12 seconds left following a fair catch on a punt.
4 months ago
Karah Brackin

Utah Veterans head to Washington D.C. for ‘trip of a lifetime’

75 veterans left Salt Lake City for Washington D.C. Tuesday morning.
4 months ago
Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, introduces himself as a member of a n...
Ashley Imlay, KSL.com & Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Supreme Court declines to hear Utah gun rights activist’s appeal to overturn bump stock ban

A prominent Utah gun rights activist has lost his bid to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal bump stock ban.
4 months ago
Yvette Rodier, shooting survivor...
Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

LETTER PODCAST: Victim says bullet wounds were easiest part of recovery

When Yvette Rodier woke up in a hospital, she knew, even before anyone told her, that her friend, Zachary Snarr, was dead.
4 months ago
Housing construction....
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Mortgage rates climb again as buyers look for price reductions

Utah's housing market is whiplashing as last year's buying frenzy seems to have slowed down to signs of a recession.
4 months ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: How cybercriminals use social engineering to get us to hand over our sensitive info

You can have the strongest, most secure password in the history of cybersecurity, but the bad guys know there is one weakness they can use to hack into your system - you!
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Utah School for the Deaf makes history with new football team