The Wisconsin School for the Deaf’s was selected along with South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, as National Deaf Prep 8-Man Football Champions by DeafDigest, a national email publication. Deaf schools, the Deaf community and others with community ties annually look to this publication to see which teams have risen to the top. This is WSD’s first National Championship in football since 1974. WSD had a 6 wins and 1 loss record despite only 14 players on the roster throughout the full 8-man football season. According to team statistics, WSD limited opponents to 73 points total for a 10.4 points per game average while scoring 260 points for a 37.1 points per game average.
Standouts were Denton Mallas (South Milwaukee), Carlos Desarden (Milwaukee), Kyle Hornung (Delavan), Tony Davis (Milwaukee), and Jose Castillo (Madison) who all excelled on both, offense and defense. Linemen Patrick Jennison (Lake Geneva), Stefan Jaeger (Birnamwood), and Cody Gannon (Janesville) opened holes with their stellar blocking. DeafDigest named Kyle Hornung (Delavan) an All-American Offensive Wide Receiver, Denton Mallas (South Milwaukee) an All-American Defensive Line Backer, Carlos Desarden (Milwaukee) an All-American Defensive Back and Stefan Jaeger (Birnamwood), an All-American Offensive Lineman. WSD averaged was 219.7 yards rushing per game while opponents were limited to 102.5 yards rushing per game. During the season WSD broke eight 8-man school records.
The WSD Firebird Football Team also excelled academically. At the beginning of the season the coaches and players agreed that the team grade point average would not fall below 3.0. The average for the first semester for all team members was 3.057! This fine football team has shown their motivation, teamwork, and determination to do their best both, on and off the football field.
DeafDigest named Steven Fuerst (Madison), WSD’s athletic director and head football coach as Coach of the Year, along with South Carolina’s coach, Don Creech.
Wisconsin School for the Deaf is a residential school for deaf and hard of hearing students from throughout the state of Wisconsin. WSD operates under the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and provides educational services for deaf and hard of hearing students ages 3 to 21.