Los Angeles Preps: Nick Conway

Taft's Nick Conway makes himself heard

November, 7, 2010
VIDEO By Tim Haddock

WOODLAND HILLS -- At first glance, Nick Conway appears to be your typical high school football player. Sure, he might be a bit undersized, at 5 feet 4 and 150 pounds, but not everyone at this level is blessed with a tremendous physical presence.

After spending a few minutes with Conway, you realize the junior from Woodland Hills Taft is anything but an average athlete. But he’s also the first to say he feels no different from anyone else.

Conway is deaf. He was born that way. Don’t call him hearing impaired either. He doesn‘t approve of such terminology. While some might perceive his condition as a handicap, he’s perfectly fine with a noise-free existence. He has embraced it.

Completely comfortable in his own skin, Conway has learned to focus his efforts on using his other keen senses on the gridiron. Surprisingly enough, his resolve and determination is finally paying off. He worked his way into the starting lineup for the Toreadors earlier this season and has emerged as a mainstay on the defensive line.

“When a kid can play, you let him play, it’s that simple. Deaf or not, Nick can play this game, his motor never stops, ’’ Taft coach Matt Kerstetter said, “Once we saw what he could do out there on the field, it was a no-brainer decision. We found a spot for him right away. There‘s something special about Nick.

“Let it be well known, we’re not about giving anyone a free ride around here, that’s not the way we do things at Taft. Nick is no charity case. He's worked extremely hard and proved himself. He’s earned a job on this team.

“Put it this way, his story wouldn’t be compelling if he was on the bench, standing around with a clipboard in his hands. Once that whistle blows, he’s flying around. Really, he’s a big inspiration. I wish more of our guys played with his type of intensity, we would be a much better program, I can tell you that much.’’

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