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OK School the Deaf wins national coach, player of the year awards

Monday, January 30, 2023

SULPHUR, OK - The National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association has recognized Oklahoma School for the Deaf’s Jason Sledd as division 2 coach of the year and RyJan Reininger as player for the year for all schools for the Deaf in the nation.

Coach Sledd has earned NDIAA’s coach of the Year award twice for football in 2019 and 2022 and once for basketball in 2020.

He has coached OSD football, basketball and track and been a teacher since 2018. Sledd coached OSD junior high basketball from 2012 to 2018. He was previously employed as an teacher’s aide from 2010 to 2012 and a Deaf specialist for OSD’s equipment distribution program from 2012 to 2018.

Reininger from Midwest City excels in studies and athletics as a member of academic and robotic teams and top player on the football, basketball and track teams. He earned the 2021 Oklahoma School for the Deaf student of the year award at People with Disabilities Awareness Day from the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

“RyJan is the best athlete and best leader on my team,” Sledd said. “Once he plays at the game, he is really a beast.  He can play multiple positions.  Linebacker is the reason why he was very good at it at a high level."

Reininger, who has broken OSD records since 2011, averages 19.1 tackles per game with a total of 153 tackles based on eight games this year. 

“I'm proud of him for earning the national player of the year, which is just exactly like the Heisman Trophy for college level,” Sledd added. “He is basically the best player in the entire deaf schools in the USA.

“My strong belief is to build and encourage all my kids to do anything they can without a barrier,” he said. “It will happen by football discipline and good leadership.  With them, it will lead to winning, guaranteed.” 

Levi Mathis, OSD athletic director posted, “Very proud of the work and results our programs put in every day,” when announcing the awards on OSD’s Facebook page @OKSchool4theDeaf.

“I am extremely proud of Coach Sledd and RyJan Reininger for their dedication and hard work for their football team,” OSD Superintendent Dr. Heather Laine said. “Coach Sledd wanted the best for his athletes in all sports, including football.  We are very fortunate to have Coach Sledd to lead the team.”

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Oklahoma School for the Deaf Coach Jason Sledd(left) and football player RyJan Reininger earned top awards from the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association.

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318 

Last Modified on Mar 30, 2023