Deaf Football Player Helps Carry Team to Playoffs - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Deaf Football Player Helps Carry Team to Playoffs

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John Anderson, senior running back and linebacker John Anderson, senior running back and linebacker
John Anderson, senior running back and linebacker John Anderson, senior running back and linebacker

By Emily Luxen

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- A Clarksville Academy football player is overcoming great odds to help lead his team into the playoffs.

Senior running back and linebacker John Anderson has been legally deaf since age five.  However, he didn't let that get in the way of his dream of playing high school football.

"I just want to show people what I can do on the football field," said John Anderson. "All you have to do is read lips."

Anderson can't wear his normal hearing aid under his helmet, and without it, he is unable to hear the roar of the crowd, a referee's whistle, or his teammates.  As a result, he had to get creative to learn how to communicate with coaches and teammates.

"John has given us an opportunity to evolve our system," said Clarksville Academy Head Coach Todd Hood. "We do a lot more signals; he does read lips, and we communicate closer with him than other players."

His father and assistant coach, John Anderson Sr., has been cheering him on every step of the way.

"I'm just so proud of him," said the elder Anderson. "The team inspires him because they let him be him.  They don't treat him like he's different."

Anderson has worked hard off the field to learn the playbook and be prepared for each game.  After transferring to the school as a junior, his goal was to make the team.

"I want to pay tribute to my coaches and teammates on the field," said Anderson. 

Clarksville Academy continues their push for a state title against Nashville Christian Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.

 

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