Q&A with California School for the Deaf head football coach Keith Adams
Coach Adams and his championship team defeated Faith Baptist 80-26 in November. The win marked the schools first championship in any sport throughout it's 70 year history.
Coach Adams, thank you and a special thanks to our interpreter Mara Bowdidge who you will hear speaking for Coach Adams in this interview.
Dean Anagnostopoulos (D.A.): After leading the program to its first CIF Southern Section championship, the school made national headlines. What does it mean for you to see your accomplishments on that scale and does the victory make you feel like a local celebrity?
Mara Bowdidge (M.B.): Yeah, a lot more people are starting to recognize me at the grocery store, at restaurants. Often they'll say, oh you're deaf, yeah head football coach for the School for the Deaf. I went skiing just a few weeks ago, and I was approached there and they were like, are you the same guy that's that football coach. I'm like yep that's me. It's a little odd. I guess I'm starting to get used to it a little bit.
D.A.: And most tackle football teams have 11 players on the field. Other than fewer players, what are the major differences coaching an 8 man football team?
M.B.: Well, with eight man the field is smaller. So we're down to 40 instead of 53 yards. Everything else is basically the same hits, tackles, you name it, the rules are the same. Instead of five linemen, we have three wide receivers. Instead of four, we have three, there are a lot of numbers that are kind of cut down. But conceptually, everything remains the same. And it's a better fit for our team. It's more suitable, we've only got 120 students to pick from. So it really is more suitable. And you know we were losing against bigger schools and we're a small school, so it just didn't make sense.
D.A.: How many players suit up during the game?
M.B.: On average, I'd say about 20, somewhere in the 20s. And we don't have a JV team. We're one team.
D.A.: Wow, is it ever tough deciding who to put out there?
M.B.: Well, honestly, I don't really have a choice. It's who do we got, who showed up today. We can't cut anybody, right yeah, if they want to play on the team, they basically are a shoo in. I mean, we're desperate for players.
D.A.: In the upcoming season, what does it look like for CSDR, and are you feeling like you're heavy favorites to win it all again?
M.B.: Yeah, yeah no, we have the potential to win again. I still got a great group of young kids. Many of them are freshmen this year, or rather they'll be juniors next year. So I don't know if it'll be like this past season, but if the players work hard, they continue to weightlift then anything's possible. We could most certainly do it again.
Coach Keith Adams is head coach of the CIF Southern Section champion Cubs, from Riverside's California School for the Deaf.
Coach, we thank you so much for coming on. And best of luck to the team this year and your upcoming success. Thank you so much.