Deaf Antigo football player to play at Gallaudet Submitted: 01/29/2015

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ANTIGO - An Antigo football player will be heading to a division three college to play quarterback.

The university is a perfect fit for him for more than just for football.

Tony Libit only has 20 percent of his hearing. Soon he will head to Gallaudet University in Washington DC to play football and to become an educator. Gallaudet is a liberal arts college but it is also a school that teaches the deaf and students who are hard of hearing.

"I think it's always kind of been destine, I just never knew it," said Libit.

Libit and his family didn't realize he was 80 % deaf when he was born. Once the family found out they were led to Gallaudet for help.

"I did not find out I was deaf until I was three years old," Libit said. "I was born with it. I was in preschool and they said your son might be deaf. I took the test obviously and I found out I was hard of hearing. They told my mom about a genetic study they were doing at this university."

Growing up Libit participated in a Gallaudet genetic study. Gallaudet help him growing up. But the path that led him to the University wasn't always easy.

"Once I got older, school was kind of difficult, sometimes asking questions to the teacher. I kinda held back," said Libit.

"Assignments had to come home and I can't tell you the countless hours at the kitchen table saying, 'do you understand this let's go through this just to make sure,''' said Libit's Mom Shelly Carani.

Tony's mom knew that individuals with hearing loss can be shy. Shelly's father who was a youth football coach would take Tony to the coffee shop and have Tony introduce himself to strangers. Shelly also didn't allow him to make excuses.

"Not let him just because he missed something or didn't hear something, I said, 'well then you need to go ask them and figured out what they missed," Carani said. "There was no excuse, I said you can be and do whatever you want."

Libit wants to help kids. He wants to help kids become individuals like himself.

"I want to be a teacher you know what I mean, a lot of these kids when they are younger, if they are lost I can guide them, that's what I would love to do,"
Libit said. "I feel like I would be one of those teachers that would connect with those students and really push them to be different and be themselves."

For now Libit will have the opportunity to continue growing in a great environment at Gallaudet University.

"It's going to be an amazing experience, I honestly can't wait," Libit said. "I know kids are going to college. To me this is a new chapter in my life."
For all the kids with hearing loss, Libit carries a positive message."

"If I do meet a kid that does have hearing loss and he is kind of shy and he isn't sure if he wants to branch out, I just him or her to know that like you can really do anything you want to do and you can't just let one thing stop you," said Libit.

Related Weblinks:
History of Gallaudet University

Story By: Nolan Blair

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