Sounds Of The Game

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By Jason Hurst
July 26, 2013

The quarterback calls out the play.

Sounds like a war in the trenches.

In a matter of moments the play, whistled dead.

So much has happened. Reacting to what you hear.

For South Walton's Zach Reese, the play sounds more like this.

Pure silence.

If I didn't point out that number twenty six can't hear, you'd never know.

"I like to play, I love to play, it's physical, it's hands-on and I get to hit people," Reese said through his interpreter.

"We are very fortunate to have Zach he came to us as a sophomore from the Alabama school for the deaf but they are known as a football school so he grew up playing football and it works out well. We use signals so it fits right in with his sign language," South Walton Head Football Coach Pil Tisa said.

Any lack of communication is resolved through an interpreter who is at all practices and games.

"He loves football and I love football and we have that in common and so we think alike on the field and off the field," said Zach's interpreter James Burns.

Zach's lack of hearing does not put him in harms different from any other football player.

Being deaf is not a handicap.

"He stops when the other person stops and his reaction time is very good so when he feels somebody relaxed that's when he'll relax," Tisa said.

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