Idaho deaf students use late coach as inspiration heading into national competition

Posted at 2:43 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 19:17:46-04

GOODING — The academic bowl team from the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind is quizzing themselves on topics of every category, like science, math, current events. There’s another important category they’re buzzing in on too.

“Of course deaf culture, because we’re competing against different schools for the deaf,” said co-coach Marcos Aguilar.

These students received third at the western regional academic bowl, so now they’re heading to nationals. Almost as exciting as what they’re competing at in, is where they’re competing.

"That’s at Gallaudet, and that’s the only deaf university in Washington D.C., so we’re excited," said sophomore student Maizy Wilcox.

The dream of nationals is one that their late coach Rose Crews always envisioned for the team. Rose lost her battle with cancer this past summer.

“She was there for me a lot in life and in school both. The idea that we could go to nationals is really making her proud," said senior student Connor Wynn.

The students are carrying her legacy to the competition and to practice each day. They’re still using some of the studying tricks she taught them.

“Study a topic for example and present to us and we learn from them, and that was something that rose taught us," said Wynn.

They’re also studying up on sign language, as signing styles vary from region to region.

“They had to navigate a different life, and exchange information differently and meet people who are the same but different," said Aguilar.

With less than a week before they leave for the competition, they’re making sure the practice and the memories count.

"It's okay to guess, its okay to mess up, make mistakes. really it doesn’t define who you are. Just try and how you try, that’s what defines you," said Wynn.