What Time Does Texas A&M Play Football Today A Deafly Inspiring Story

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A Deafly Inspiring Story

College football is a field where many inspiring and heart-touching stories take place. It is also a place where the passion of the players, the enthusiasm of the fans, the wishes of the coaches and the expectations of the community come together to form a unique atmosphere. The games are full of fans. Teams are considered home teams. Players collide and hats bounce. Marching bands respect their teams. 40000 plus fans are loud and critical. Amidst all the noise and noise, all Martel Van Zat hears is his own heartbeat. His story is very inspiring.

Van Zant is deaf and was born without eardrums after his mother contracted chickenpox during pregnancy. He can feel the vibrations from the screaming crowd and the shock, but he cannot hear the referee’s whistle and must use his eyes to confirm the end of the match. Growing up in Tyler, Texas, Van Zant was raised like any other school kid. His parents did not treat him differently. They kept the same hope for him. Van Zat attended high school and thrived in his community. The source of this success was the inspiring story of sports.

Growing up in an athletic community and with four brothers to play, athletics was a way of life for the Van Zant family. Martel did very well in this field. Through sports, he leveled the playing field and stayed away from his classmates. He started playing football first. He also tried basketball and track. He excelled in all of these, but did not feel a great sense of satisfaction with these games. In the eighth grade, he was introduced to American football. He learned the game and compensated for his hearing loss by watching the ball. His focus on the ball combined with his natural athleticism made him a very good defensive player. The more he played, the more he realized that he could use football as a vehicle for his education and his inspirational story.

By the time he finished his career at Lee High, he had 21 tackles and was named to the Texas Top 100 prospect list, drawing attention from Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, SMU, TCU and Texas A&M. His ability caught the attention of former OSU coach Les Miles. Other coaches were hesitant to select him, but Miles, with some basic sign language skills, took a chance on Van Zant and signed him to OSU. The rest of this inspiring story is, as you can tell, history.

How does a deaf football player go about overcoming the gap in the high speed of American football? Fortunately, Van Zat has the help of Allie Lee, his translator. Lee is an inspirational story in his own right. He drives 132 miles from Oklahoma City to Stillwater every day, accompanying Van Zant to classes, team meetings, practices and games. If playing Division IA football is a dream come true for Van Zahn, being part of the Cowboys family is a thrill for Lee.

He may not like being referred to as a “deaf athlete,” but Van Zat has seen it inspire others. He received letters from deaf children and saw the excitement in their eyes as they approached him, an example of never giving up on their dreams and expectations. They are all inspiring stories to write.

“I’m a role model for these young deaf people that they can do it too,” Van Zat said. “It makes them more interested in their interests and going to college and following the same steps and doing the same things that I have.”

His victory was not lost on those outside the deaf community. He was nominated for the FexEx Orange Bowl FWAA Courage Award, which honors athletes/coaches who have demonstrated courage on or off the field, including overcoming injury or physical disability, preventing disaster or living in adversity. Van Zant’s mother sums up Martel’s inspirational story best: “I truly believe that God does things for a reason,” she said. “He’s not going to put more on us than we can handle. I’ve never doubted that he’s going to do what he’s doing. That’s just my faith.”

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