CSDR football program thriving after nearly two years away from the field – San Bernardino Sun


RIVERSIDE — California School for the Deaf, Riverside football coach Keith Adams experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s nonleague game against Downey Calvary Chapel.

With 9:41 remaining in the game, Adams’ son Trevin tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jory Valencia to help give the Cubs a commanding 66-37 advantage. That lead was a point shy of a running clock going into effect.

Downey Calvary Chapel scored three touchdowns in less than four minutes to cut that deficit to nine points. Welcome to the world of 8-man football, where few leads are safe as touchdowns often come at a rapid pace.

CSDR managed to hold off the Grizzlies down the stretch, and the Cubs eventually ran out the clock and walked away with a 66-57 win to remain undefeated this season.

“Wow, what a game!” Keith Adams said through sign language interpreter Mark Bayarsky. “We had some players who were hurting, but they had that desire to finish the game. They really showed their Cub pride tonight.”

Thursday was a special night for the school, which educates more than 400 deaf and hard of hearing students from Southern California. September 23 was the International Day of Sign Languages, and the football game marked the culmination of CSDR’s homecoming festivities. It also was the Cubs’ toughest test of the season. CSDR and Downey Calvary Chapel are among the top 8-man teams in the CIF Southern Section. CSDR is the No. 2 team in the Division 2 rankings, and Calvary Chapel is No. 4 in Division 1.

CSDR (4-0) got off to a fast start, Trevin Adams tossed a touchdown to Valencia, and Adams added a 7-yard scoring run to help the Cubs take a 16-0 lead after the first quarter. The Cub defense also shined early, as Cody Metzner forced a fumble that was recovered by Kaden Adams, who also is the son of the head coach.

Downey Calvary Chapel (2-2) had few answers for Trevin Adams, who turned in one of the best performances of his career. Adams rushed for 241 yards and five touchdowns and threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns. His runs of 69 and 56 yards were highlight-worthy, as he broke several tackles on his way to the end zone.

Valencia was equally impressive for the Cubs. He hauled in nine passes for 150 yards and four touchdowns and also registered his fifth and sixth interceptions of the season. Valencia had the wind knocked out of him in the fourth quarter, but he returned on the final drive and grabbed a 12-yard pass on fourth down to seal the win.

The coronavirus pandemic had a heavy impact on the CSDR athletics program. Because its students come from 11 different counties in Southern California, CSDR houses pupils from Sunday evening to Friday afternoon. CSDR had to cancel all athletics for the 2020-21 school year while students remained in distance learning.

“Football is my favorite sport, so it was very disappointing not getting to play for a year and a half,” Trevin Adams said through interpreter Bayarsky. “I just want to come out here and give everything I have.”

Keith Adams had to find a balance in his coaching style when players returned to campus to prepare for the new season.

“It had been quite a while since they played,” he said. “I was probably softer on them than usual because of that, but at the same time you also need to push them to be the best. We were just excited to play again.”

Two years ago, CSDR beat St. Michael’s Prep in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs, the first postseason victory in the program’s history. Adams and his players have ambitious goals this season.

“I hope we can go all the way,” Keith Adams said. “Playing for and winning a championship is something that we strive for. We have a really good team, and there should be no excuses to make that happen this year.”

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