Deaf Soccer Players in Utah for National Tryouts

Deaf Soccer Players in Utah for National Tryouts


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Sammy Linebaugh ReportingSoccer players from around the country are in town for a team tryout. But this isn't just any team. What some call a disability, these soccer players call strategic advantage.

Nicole Banks, Trying Out for U.S. Deaf Soccer Team: "I'm always aware. With the deaf they really can focus good with their eyes because they can't hear. So if there's somebody on the side of me I know, and I can look really really quickly."

Utah's Nicole Banks is hearing impaired and like all the players at the tryout, is hoping for a chance to represent the US at the 2005 Deaf Olympic Games in Australia.

Coach John Sisterson is holding tryouts for the national team here in Salt Lake City and says many of the deaf players he sees become dominant in traditional leagues because they're simply more aware.

John Sisterson, Head Coach, U.S. Women’s National Deaf Team: “Even professionals forget when they play, for instance with their back to the goal, to have a quick glance over their shoulder to see if anyone’s coming on tight. These girls do it naturally.”

These players have come from around the country to try out for the team. The oldest is 44-years old, the youngest just 13.

Emily Cressy, Ventura, Calif.: “I never play with deaf team before. I play with hearing team.”

Most here have grown up playing on traditional, or hearing teams -- some for Division 1 college programs. For Nicole, earning a spot on the women’s national deaf team is a dream she's had since she was a kid.

Nicole: "Because I was deaf and there's not a lot of communicating, it's difficult. So with soccer I was free to just enjoy it a lot, not a lot of communication, just action."

And like everybody, she's giving it her best shot.

The tryout runs all weekend with scrimmage games planned tonight and tomorrow. Those interested in the tryouts can contact head coach John Sisterton at 801-566-4141, room 238.

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