ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Junior Lynae Arthur’s very first shot on goal for the Webster Groves Junior Varsity Lacrosse Team landed in the back of the net. The small crowd roars, her teammates tell her “good job,” but Arthur doesn’t hear any of it.
“I think being deaf is hard,” Arthur says. “Like it’s harder to understand people and stuff like that.”
Around the age of five, Arthur’s mother noticed her daughter wasn’t able to hear well. The doctor advised for Arthur to be fitted for Cocular Implants — she’s had them ever since.
Arthur’s lack of hearing may seem disabling, but the challenge it brings has actually kept her in lacrosse.
“I like to meet new people and learn how to communicate with my team,” Arthur says.
She was watching the varsity girls, some who will be teammates next year, and head coach Andrew Hittler prepare for their State Quarterfinal game May 18. Hittler has also coached the JV team at times this year, and from day one of coaching Arthur, he was impressed.
“I wouldn’t even try it,” Hittler says. “She has so much courage just to come out and play a sport – it’s just incredible.
“From the beginning of the year, she was towards the top of the team with talent. It was just the communication, how are we going to put it all together.”
At every one of Arthur’s games, standing as close as she can to the field, is Arthur’s interpreter, Charlene Kaminski. She relays to Arthur any instructions the coaches give her.
“So there is a little bit of a delay,” Hittler says. “But (Arthur) knows the sport well enough, it comes to her naturally and she knows what’s going on.”
But Arthur says she knows her impaired hearing has held her game back. And next year as a senior, she just wants to show her teammates how she can overcome it.
“Like, they haven’t struggled as I have been,” Arthur says. “I wish the team can, like, involve me to be in the team like a family instead of just out of the the team, like not being involved because I am deaf.”
And after high school, Arthur plans to keep playing lacrosse at the collegiate level, because she wants to continue her challenge.
“Yeah I think it’s going to be harder,” Arthur says. “But I never like give up on my sports because it’s my favorite, and I just want to continue playing lacrosse.”
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