Brighton player excels on lacrosse field as team learns to communicate without sound

KUTV Kennedy Flavin thumbs 041317.JPG
Brighton player excels on lacrosse field, team learns to communicate without sound (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Kennedy Flavin's coach said she is a special player -- one of the most unique players Maggie Herrnecker has ever coached. She said the Brighton High School athlete is hardworking, humble and funny.

She started playing lacrosse when she was 12. Her hard work and determination have helped her to become one of the best players in Utah and she will keep playing beyond high school. She has signed to play for Westminster College.

But in a game where players call out names and positions and communicate on the field Kennedy experiences the game in a different way; she hears only silence. She was born deaf, but it hasn't stopped her in life or on the lacrosse field.

"I think it would be the same if she could hear; I don't think there would be any difference in the way that she plays," Herrnecker said.

Not being able to hear has forced Kennedy and her teammates to rely on different forms of communication. According to players they sign specific plays so they know what is happening on the offensive end.

"They don't have to be fluent in sign language to communicate with me," Kennedy said in sign. "I can understand what they are doing based on body language. I know what you're doing. It makes me more adaptable person and i'm really grateful for that."

"When i'm at games and they realize she is deaf and she's playing it blows people away," Mike Flavin, her father said. "She doesn't sit still and feel sorry for anything she can't do. She works harder to make things happen."

Kennedy is not sure what she wants to major in yet, but she is leaning toward something like biology or environmental studies.

"I want to become a role model for younger kids to show them that I can do things so you can too. Just because you are deaf it doesn't mean you can't do the things you want to."