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Alexander: Hearing issues don’t deter RCC’s Jash Allen

By in Press Enterprise on November 23, 2017

By Jim Alexander

RIVERSIDE — When Riverside City College faces Fullerton Saturday at Whittier College, for the Southern California regional title and a berth in the state community college championship game, No. 20 in white will likely be running around making tackles and causing havoc.

It is impressive enough that Jash Allen, the aforementioned No. 20, is an impact player at linebacker for RCC after spending the first part of the season as a freshman running back who seldom saw the field.

It is even more impressive once you understand he’s playing, and succeeding, with a hearing impediment.

Allen, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder from Tigard, Ore, a suburb of Portland, calls his hearing loss “mild to moderate” in both ears. It was diagnosed when he was in fourth grade, but he approaches it as not that big a thing.

He says he can read lips “pretty well,” which can be an asset in the cacophony of a football game. But he can easily conduct a conversation verbally, too, though he cautioned that it helps to speak to him loudly, clearly and distinctly.

“Honestly, I’ve been going my whole life being deaf, so it just felt normal,” he said. “At first I didn’t believe it, but as I started processing it through my head, it was true. So I adjusted to it, and I do whatever I can to make it not an issue.”

He participated in football growing up, and dabbled in track in high school but said football was his primary focus. To hear him tell it, his hearing issues were neither here nor there.

“It was something I always wanted to do, so I just did it,” he said. “If you really want to do something, you’ll work around whatever problem you have. So that’s exactly what I did.”

The mechanics of playing inside linebacker in RCC’s 3-4 defense have […]    

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