LAWTON, Okla (KSWO) - Patrick Shea, a 2011 graduate of MacArthur high school, had the chance to play for Team USA in the Deaf World Cup over in Italy last month. Shea and the Americans played six matches in two weeks. They finished with a 3-2-1 record and are now ranked sixth in the world, despite having just a fraction of the practice time of most of the other teams in the tournament.
"There's other teams like Japan and Germany and other countries that aren't as big as ours and they train maybe every two months," Shea said. "Beating Japan was the goal because these guys probably practice 50 times a year and we only practice maybe seven times a year and to be able to beat them was a satisfying result."
Shea saw action in three of Team USA's matches, and even started against Egypt. He says playing at that elite level was an eye opener.
"I knew I was at that level of play but I didn't know what to expect because I had never seen these teams we were playing on TV, so you had to go in and go with the flow of how the game goes," he said. "But it was definitely a very hard experience and a learning experience to help me develop and hopefully help me gain more knowledge for the future and be ready for the future."
Now that he's had a taste of competing on the big stage, Shea hopes to continue playing for Team USA in the future. In the meantime, he's hoping to share his experience and help grow the game here in Lawton.
"It made me more hungry and I got a taste of it. It made me want to give young kids the advice, like the kids I'm coaching right now, how the high level of play is and I want to give them knowledge to be faster and quicker at the game because college and professionals are a way different playing field than traveling team and high school."