DOWNEY—A couple weeks ago, Canyon News covered Downey High School’s newest cheerleader, a Deaf high school student named Iliana. Now, we shed light on Downey’s football team, who she will be cheering on. Three of their players will not be able to hear Iliana’s cheerleading friends, screaming and waving their pom poms, but Iliana will most likely be able to go over and chat with them in ASL when the game is over.

Jed McGuire, Alejandro Lobato, and Omar Ruiz are Deaf, and they play just as hard as any other player. Coached from the sideline by their interpreter, Cathy Johnson, they are three of the most eagle-eyed players on the team. With peripheral vision that is keenly honed and a natural feel for the game, these players are hyperfocused on the game in front of them and rarely need to look to the sidelines for information.

McGuire is working with his teammates to pick up a bit of ASL, and all three young men can read lips.

Downey won their first round of the CIF playoffs against California last Friday and are scheduled to meet up against Cathedral this upcoming Friday.