Season Of Triumph
Florida School for the Deaf & Blind football team has incredible season.
A freshman year flashback could probably make many of us cringe, but for the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind football team, a four-year flashback is hell.
"It's been a long drought," said Athletics Director Sue Hill. "We've had long, hard seasons -- real hard."
The team has only managed a couple wins in the last four seasons.
And in those four years, they've lost every way possible.
They've been victims of huge blowouts.
They've lost by last second field goals.
"In my three years we've lost, we've lost, we've lost," said senior fullback Mikal Moore.
Moore, quarterback Corey Koski, and linebacker Charles Elliot have been around for some of the worst of the losses since playing as freshmen.
And while the three young men need an interpreter to get their points across, one point is universal: Losing all the time is tough.
"It's very hard," Koski said, insisting it doesn't matter if you can hear or not.
"Football is football."
The losses started taking a toll on the 100 year old football program. Hill said interest waned.
"We were struggling to get 20 dressed," Hill said.
But something changed in four years.
"We played hard and we worked hard no matter what," Elliot said.
They also have a new coach: Eric LeFors.
LeFors has been an assistant with the team since these guys were freshmen.
His message to seniors: Work hard and the wins will take care of themselves.
"We were blessed to have a group of seniors who have been around the block a few times," LeFors said.
And after a season opening loss this year, they won four straight, beating rival Alabama Deaf and Indiana Deaf.
They also beat schools perfectly able to hear their coaches orders.
"It's great to see some success," Hill said.
Koski says it was better being on the other end of the score this year.
"Just a little payback," he said.
And on Senior Night, they got perhaps their best win against their cross town rival St. Joseph's.
"This year we won seven and lost two, and I'm so happy about that," Moore said.
And while remembering all the losses over the past four seasons may be hell, they say that's what makes all the wins this year so much sweeter.
"It felt wonderful," Koski said. "I can't really describe how I feel inside. It's just an incredible feeling."