Viral video shows Idaho high school football player signing national anthem at game


KUNA, Idaho (KTVB) — It was a phenomenal season for the Kuna High School football team in Idaho. They went undefeated in the regular season and they are powering through the playoffs, knocking off everyone they come up against.

“I feel like football is Kuna's time to shine. We have everybody there, the entire city comes out to watch us,” said Kuna High football player Jonathan Edwards.

Something special happened at a game this season in this small, proud Idaho town. It touched millions of people around the world.

Jonathan Edwards is a senior and one of the star players on the team.

“Man, basically ever since I was born, I've always loved football, always played it,” said Edwards.

But there's more to him than just football. If you ask his coach Sherman Blaser, a former Boise State football standout, he'll tell you.

“You know, the best way to describe him is he's the kind of kid you want your kids to be,” said Blaser.

For his senior project, Edwards decided to tackle something a little different. Over the summer, he took American Sign Language classes. He wanted to be able to sign the national anthem at a home game.

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“We do the national anthem every game and I thought it would be a creative idea because you don't ever see anyone doing that,” said Edwards.

When the chosen game arrived on a Friday night in late September, Edwards says he was nervous and anxious to get it right.

“Oh yeah, oh yeah, I was definitely nervous,” said Edwards. Jonathan’s mom Chrissy Edwards was nervous, too.

“They definitely put him out there, there was a podium. He had to climb up on the podium in front of everyone, and the music started,” said Chrissy Edwards.

Jonathan got up on that podium, jitters and all, and signed the anthem with the band accompanying him. All eyes were on him. He said it felt like no one said a word. When he was done, the bleachers erupted in hearty applause and cheers.

The community was touched and blown away. So was his coach.

“We all got the goosebumps. I guess that’s the best way to describe it,” said Head Coach Sherman Blaser. “The way he presented it, it was beautiful.”

It was a proud moment for everyone, watching this high school kid, #32, in his uniform and pads, signing the national anthem.

Kuna High's principal Brian Graves said what Jonathan did was inspiring to everyone.

“This is a pretty patriotic town. The national anthem means something to us,” said Graves.

The next morning, Chrissy Edwards posted a video that she took of the inspiring American Sign Language anthem on Facebook.

“A friend of ours who is in the deaf community asked to share it,” said Chrissy Edwards, Jonathan’s proud mom. “It just went from there!”

The anthem post went viral within hours. His mom says she can see why.