Benjamin Diaz suits up Friday nights with his Caprock High School football team with the same expectations- to win.
But his experiences on the field are different from that of his teammates.
Diaz is Deaf.
He says he watches the ball snap to charge, and stops play when the other players stop.
Although he cannot hear the game, Diaz says he can feel it.
â??I feel the vibrations when theyâ??re chanting,â?? Diaz said. â??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.â??
Diazâ??s mother, Virginia Diaz, attends all of her sonâ??s practices and games to make sure he gets the play calls. She involved her son in sports in third grade for athletic growth and social development.
â??Being Deaf, I wanted him to understand that just because youâ??re Deaf doesnâ??t mean you canâ??t do sports or anything you want to do,â?? his mother said.
Diaz suffered a torn ACL his sophomore year and has had to prove himself to stay on the playing field. His teammates, or brothers as Diaz described, encouraged him to keep fighting.
Diaz has inspired people along his journey of playing football on a silent field. He writes on an Amarillo ISD blog for the Deaf and encourages other to â??never give up.â??
â??Itâ??ll be okay for you to be nervous,â?? Diaz said. â??But sometimes you play bad, but practice every day. Never give up and you will become a winner.â??
Diaz wants to attend Amarillo College to study mechanics. He then wants to transfer to Baylor with hopes of becoming a football or wrestling coach.
His favorite players are DeMarcus Ware and Dez Bryant.