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California School for the Deaf Riverside football team secures second consecutive State Championship title

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(NEW YORK) — After overcoming obstacles and facing a 14-0 deficit early in the game, the California School for the Deaf in Riverside’s football team secured their second consecutive win in the Southern Section CIF state championship.

“This is surreal. It was shocking…Generally speaking, it’s very, very hard to win that championship game two years in a row,” coach Keith Adams, told ABC News through an ASL translator.

The Cubs players and coaches use American Sign Language to communicate.

The team secured a 54-42 victory claiming the championship title which they described as nothing less than a miracle. The team celebrated their win with a parade held by the school.

The victory held significance for many players on the team. Adams, and Jeremias Valencia, CSDR athletic director, told ABC News the team dealt with multiple injuries throughout the season while also getting adjusted to the departure of their previous teammates who graduated.

“I had never experienced that in all my years of coaching to have so many injuries in such a short period of time,” said Adams.

Adams said the injuries and the new lineups worked in the team’s favor as he was able to discover the strengths of the other players.

Despite the injuries and the doubts they faced it was the team’s unity that allowed them to persevere through these challenges.

“Many of these students have known each other since they were in kindergarten. They’ve played not just football but a lot of sports together,” Valencia told ABC News through an ASL interpreter.

Wins like these help to keep the players inspired, and helps to build their confidence, Adams said.

“So, these wins show them that they can believe in themselves, that they can do things, that they can achieve certain things,” he said. “And so for that, it’s been quite inspiring to see that positive result on the students.”

Talking about what’s next for the team, Adams said they have already started preparing for the championships next year.

Adams said he tells the players to go out there and have fun as they cannot win all the time.

“In life, that’s going to happen, you’re not always going to win, and you have to be prepared for those losses,” he said.

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