Deaf Caprock High football player encourages others

Summarized by Rachel Janis, staff writer

Every Friday night in Amarillo, TX, Benjamin Diax prepares to play with his Caprock High School football team, each player with the same expectation of winning. However, his experience on the football field differs from his teammates. Diaz is deaf.

Diaz uses his eyes, instead, watching the ball snap to charge, and stopping when the other players stop. Diaz says he can feel the game rather than hear it.

“I feel the vibrations when they’re chanting,” Diaz said. “I feel so happy and excited, but sometimes I feel a little sad. I never had people cheer for me ever in my life until now.”

To make sure Diaz gets the play calls, Diaz’s mother Virginia attends all of the practices and games. She put her son in sports in third grade to help with his social development and, of course, athletic growth.

“Being deaf, I wanted him to understand that just because you’re deaf doesn’t mean you can’t do sports or anything you want to do,” his mother said.

Since Diaz tore his ACL during his sophomore year, he has had to prove himself to continue to play on the field. His teammates, or what Diaz calls brothers, have encouraged him to persevere.

Diaz has inspired many with his journey of playing silent games. He also writes on an Amarillo ISD blog for the Deaf to encourage others to “never give up.”

“It’ll be okay for you to be nervous,” said Diaz. “But sometimes you play bad, but practice every day. Never give up and you will become a winner.”

Diaz hopes to attend Amarillo College and study mechanics. He then wants to transfer to Baylor, hoping to become a football or wrestling coach.


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