Hearing impaired student pursues football
DALLAS – It is an exciting time for student athletes. More than 100 seniors from schools across Dallas Independent School District packed Ellis Davis Field House with their families and supporters for National Signing Day.
This year's Signing Day is something especially significant for a Running Back from Woodrow Wilson High School.
Darrion Green is deaf. He has been tackling the disability most of his life.
"It's hard because I couldn't hear everything that they were doing," Darrion explained. "It's kind of frustrating, but I still keep going."
The stand-out football player also competes in track and field events, like hurdling. He says, over the years, he has had to face challenges from hearing loss.
Darrion's mom, Qiana Green, has been one of his strongest motivators.
Green said, "Oh my God, I'm extremely proud of him.
Green admits she was concerned about Darrion being on a football field with other young boys, when he first told her he wanted to play football many years ago. Green says she stood by him, supporting her son's passion for sports.
"Really, what I did was made sure that I was at practice with him," Green explained, "because he's used to reading my lips."
Darrion's skills on the football field got him heavily recruited by several colleges. Though, his family says some schools backed out, claiming they did not have the resources to support a deaf student."
Green said, "There's so many people that would, kind of turn him away, or shoo him off, because they couldn't communicate with him. Just to see him press and stay motivated, and not give up on his dreams, it's really overwhelming."
Darrion was determined to explore options, and says he is proud about making his college commitment public.
The teen announced he will be attending Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. The athlete says he chose the school because it specializes in educating those who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Darrion says his advice to any other students tackling disabilities, "If you are deaf, blind, anything…you can do anything. You are blessed."
When Darrion looked out into the crowd on Signing Day, Green says she knew he would be reading her lips.
"Great job, Son," she told him. "Great job! I'm so proud of you."