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OK School the Deaf athletes win national awards

Friday, March 03, 2023

SULPHUR, Okla.  —  Oklahoma School for the Deaf is celebrating after five exceptional student athletes won national All-American awards from the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association.

In addition to an All-American honorable mention for volleyball, OSD earned an impressive four All-American awards for 6-man football. Only 12 students are honored from 6-man teams at schools for the deaf across the nation. Marietta 

“This is a great representation of the work our programs invest in our students,” Athletic Director Levi Mathis said. “With how few students NDIAA selects, it’s amazing to see OSD represents 5 of the 35 total players on the national district 2 volleyball and football teams.”

NDIAA’s divisions are based on school enrollment. OSD is in division 2 with schools for the deaf that have fewer than 75 high school students.

In football, schools are divided into 6-man, 8-man or 11-man categories, not divisions. The OSD team is in the 6-man category.

Aracely Murillo from Duncan earned an All- American honorable mention for her outstanding success on the volleyball court.

“Aracely was selected as one of the 23 top players in the nation,” OSD Athletic Director Levi Mathis said. “We are very proud of her accomplishments and leadership on the team.”

Murillo will also be recognized with an OSD Student of the Year March 7 during a People with Disabilities Awareness Day award ceremony at Oklahoma History Center.

OSD earned an impressive five All-American awards for 6-man football. Only 12 students are honored from 6-man teams at schools for the deaf across the nation. 

The 1st Team All-Americans award-winners are Cayden Ducharme from Marietta and RyJan Reininger from Midwest City. 

Riley Newell from Pauls Valley and Russell Fewel from Sulphur are 2nd Team All-American winners.

OSD Coach Jason Sledd was previously recognized as coach of the year and football player RyJan Reininger earned player of the year honors for NDIAA district 2.

“Junior RyJan Reininger broke our school record with 153 tackles just for eight games,” Coach Sledd said. ”He rushed 651 yds with 14 touchdowns, 22 catches for 264 yards and 4 touchdowns. His achieved 1,142 total yards with 17 sacks, 2 interceptions and 34 touchdown field goals.

“Cayden Ducharme, a senior, was very strong like our team mascot, the bison, who could break the defense line easily,” Sledd said. “He carried 56 balls for 404 yards and 6 touchdowns, 7 catches for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns, 52 tackles, 2 sacks, 7 touchdown field goals and more than 175 yards on kickoff. He is also an excellent kicker. 

“Sophomore Riley Newell changed from fullback to offensive end, had good blocking and did well at receiving players and defense,” Sledd added. “He carried 7 balls for 60 yards and had 5 catches for 26 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 punt blocks, 49 tackles, 15 touchdown field goals and 7 sacks.

“As our excellent quarterback, Russell Fewel, a freshman, was the mastermind OF offensive plays,” Coach Sledd added. “He successfully passed 23 out of 63 for 268 yards, 4 touchdowns, rushed 110 yards for 3 touchdowns, had 15 catches for 220 yds and 1 touchdown with 598 total yards, 39 tackles, 5 sacks, 8 touchdown fields goals and 3 Interceptions.”

OSD’s football team is the 2022-23 Great Plains Schools for the Deaf Conference champions and runner-up for national deaf champions in 6-man football. 

“As the new OSD superintendent, I am so happy to see OSD students and Coach Sledd recognized by the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association,” Dr. Heather Laine said. “Our students are outstanding and deserve to be recognized at the national level.”


The National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association named five All-Americans from Oklahoma School for the Deaf (clockwise from upper left): Aracely Murillo, Riley Newell, Russell Fewel, Cayden Ducharme and RyJan Reininger.

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318 

Last Modified on Mar 17, 2023