Dom Noel’s Time to Shine at Tamaqua

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Dom Noel isn't the strongest player on the team. He's not the quickest either. But the Tamaqua junior gives his all every day at practice, even though he can't hear the whistle. Being deaf won't stop him from playing his favorite sport.

"I love the sport," Noel said. "I love everything about it, being with my teammates, coaches. It's nice to be with them and I was born with it and I always watched it. I always get news about it."

But this past Friday, Dom was the news. The Blue Raiders were on their way to a 59-6 win over Panther Valley. Then this happened.

"We were on the sidelines and there was like, five minutes left," Tamaqua senior wide receiver Zeke Wassell said. "I went over to coach (Sam) Bonner and I was like, 'Can we get Dom in?' and he was like, 'Yeah, go get him for me.' So I went and I got Dom and I told him and he tried to run right onto the field right away."

"Next thing I know, all my buddies were calling my name, saying, 'Dom, Dom, you're going in.' I was like, 'I'm going in?'" Noel recalled.

"I'm a strong believer in no matter who you are, if you practice hard throughout the course of the week and you get that opportunity at the end of a game like we had on Friday night, you deserve to be on the field no matter what the situation is," said Tamaqua head football coach Sam Bonner.

Just three snaps. But it was his reaction that made the story.

"I just never seen someone love the game that much," Wassell said. "All I could do was smile on the sidelines and be grateful to call him my teammate."

"To be one of his best friends and seeing he's doing something he loves, it's just makes me really happy and makes all of us happy," Tamaqua junior cornerback Rick Evans said. "He's a brother and we treat him like a brother and we all love him like a brother."

The best part about Dom's reaction was the fact that it was caught on video. The guys from the Tamaqua Blue Raiders Facebook page got it and they posted it online and now, that video is going viral. Talk about a video truly worth sharing, a story Dom says has a clear message.

"Anything is possible is you keep your mind to it," Noel said. "(People) shouldn't worry about if they have a disability or they think they can't do something, they should just keep their mind to it and if they want to do it, they should do it."