TODAY | December 02, 2012
>>> we're back now with a lesson from the football field about how to get past challenges and the rewards that follow when you pull it off? mike taibbi reports from los angeles .
>> reporter: they're an undermanned high school football team from fremont, california. only 19 players from the small school , and they're undersized, not one player even 200 pounds, which made their run to a 10-2 record and elite championship something special. the eagles overcame an even bigger obstacle on the way to friday night glory because csd stands are for california school for the deaf . that's right, every player and coach warren keller, too, is deaf.
>> we want to prepare the kids the best that we can for the rest of their lives, get them no matter what happens on the field and how much we put them through, prepare them for real life .
>> reporter: small but quick, they were press ed and play that way. the hurry up offense each time seven seconds.
>> we set up fast, snap the ball fast.
>> reporter: and what do you know, it worked. one bigger opponent after another bit the dust. almost all of them public schools. and the eagles turn deafness into an advantage using sign language and color coded sideline boards to call plays that athletes who can hear couldn't figure out.
>> they have a medium of communication that varies, they can talk to each other and don't have to create a new language that we might be at a disadvantage.
>> reporter: it's tough enough growing up deaf but over the space of a dozen football games these kids proved their mettle and equality to the hearing world and to themselves. motivation?
>> they think we're nothing. that they can beat us and they have an ego.
>> translator: and reward.
>> reporter: we shocked them, oh, yeah, deaf kids can play.
>> translator: " sports illustrated " has honored the eagles as one of the underdogs. more important, what these young athletes have already won.
>> reporter: what happens on the football field applies to real life . i will always remember playing football here. of course i feel like it will help me become a better man.
>> translator: a message sent and received loud and clear. mike taibbi , nbc news, los angeles .