Silence is Golden
We’ve all heard stories of adversity, triumph, pain and glory – Some non-fiction and some fact. Tall tales like Lord of the Rings and many other children’s fables that took our imagination on a never ending journey towards the stars. Every once in a while we get an opportunity to witness moments like this become reality; moments that prove that whatever the human spirit desires, it can and will supersede even the most daunting of obstacles in life. Calel Aramboles story is the inspiration of myth and urban legend personified. It is the tale of a leader of men and the hero of his very own story.
Calel, 13, is a Bronx, New York born football player of Dominican and Filipino descent who has been the starting RB/LB of the NorCal Golden Bears in the NCSYFL (the Northern California Snoop Youth Football League) for 4 years. He began his football journey immediately after he and his family moved to California. His parents, Juan & Crizelda Aramboles, moved to the state to give their children a new start and Calel did just that.
Just another standout football player to the naked eye, you would have to look past the prowess of his physical talents to see what gives this young man his true competitive edge. This gift is one that you would only have the privilege of knowing, if you had the opportunity to meet this young gridiron giant outside the lines. No, it’s not the fact that his father, Juan Aramboles, has a military background, nor his size or speed – It’s deeper than that.
Calel, was born deaf until an operation gave him marginal hearing in his left ear at only 18 months old. Most people would hear this about someone and think how does he have the ability to play football? What some may see as a disability in actuality is a gift that gives him an advantage over the competition – An almost super natural ability to block out the white noise that accompanies distraction and channel it into the next play. This gift of silence focuses his determination to fight for that last yard and an undying desire to give it all he has when nobody has anything left. This kid has the heart of a soldier and the will of champion. He has no quit in him and you can see it most when he touches a football.
Like most heroes we’ve read about, Calel didn’t take this journey alone. Accompanied by Head Coach, Isaac Marquez for the last 4 years, Calel’s road towards greatness has met its fair share of challenges. One particular one was when his hearing impairment became a communication barrier between him, his coaches and teammates. The first 3 weeks of his football journey were the most frustrating. His coaches couldn’t understand him and vice versa. At that point, Coach Marquez requested that Calel’s father join the staff as a Translator in order to teach the coaching staff and the rest of his offensive teammate’s sign language. This would prove to be a team effort that became a game changer.
Calel is known as the hardest worker on his team and makes it a point to earn everything. “Whenever we have been down in games at half-time, Calel is the first guy to start talking. It’s not always something you understand, but he’s always been our leader and the kids get the message.” Coach Marquez explains. “The strongest kid I’ve ever met.” He continued
His father, Juan Aramboles, has also been inspired by his son’s heroics on the field stating, “He has never used him being deaf as an excuse.” When asked about how he felt about Marques, he said. “Coach Isaac never gave up on him. He could’ve given up on a deaf kid. Instead, he pushed him.”
Calel and the Golden Bears went undefeated last season and made it the Final Four as the Northern California Representative eventually losing to the Diamond Valley Steelers in the Semifinals. He has learned to read lips very well, wants to strictly play RB in the future and is enrolled at the Freemont School of the Deaf for fall semester.
If you take anything from this, let it be to never give up on a child no matter their shortcomings! It takes a village to raise a child and moment to tell a story. They could very well be the rose that grew from the concrete, the blood in the vein that leads to a heartbeat and your guiding light in a world full of darkness. Nurture their innocence and push them in the direction of success. This young man has tough me that it is better to phase out the noise of life because silence can be Golden.
Written by William Gates Lamar III