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Naomi Nyboer wins Arizona Sports Character Counts scholarship

Casteel High School student Naomi Nyboer was named the winner of the Arizona Sports Character Counts $10,000 scholarship courtesy of Parker & Sons Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

She was announced as the winner at an event held Tuesday, Feb. 18, in the pavilion of Talking Stick Resort Arena. Former Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan and 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf helped host the event and presented the finalists before naming Nyboer the winner.

“I’m really grateful for it. It’s amazing that I won this,” Nyboer said after learning she won the scholarship.

Nyboer is a sophomore from Casteel High School and a soccer player who participates in the Arizona Soccer Club’s special needs program, TOPSoccer. She serves as a buddy to Brett, who Nyboer says isn’t deaf but doesn’t speak.

Through her fluidity of American Sign Language (ASL), Nyboer formed a relationship with Brett and helped him find a love for soccer that she’s always had. Nyboer was creative with doing so, using Brett’s known love of werewolves by teaching him sign for the word and coming up with a soccer activity that involved them.

“I said ‘OK, let’s go kick some werewolves’ kicks,” Nyboer said, adding Brett would howl before each kick.