BlazeDay at Trinity School

BlazeSports had a great day at Trinity School on Monday February 24th. Students from 2nd – 6th grade took part in all the Paralympic style activities including our very own Blazer Eric Francis who is a member of the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep Team and a 5th grader at Trinity.  

Eric Francis shows his speed

Eric Francis shows his speed

Eric proved that training pays off when none of his classmates could catch him in wheelchair relays. 

Thanks to all the staff and students at Trinity for welcoming the BlazeSpots staff and for taking so many excellent pictures throughout the day (we stole a few!).

Interested in hosting a BlazeDay at your school or in your local community? Find out more HERE 

Posted in Blog, News, Programs |

Hawks Finish Third in Music City Madness

blaze-4 Brent2Day 3 of the 2014 Southern Regional Tournament only involved two games, the semi-finals and the Championship Game.  Houston’s unbeaten record put them in the championship game.  The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks (#12) would have to get by #7, the Milwaukee Heat in the semi-final game to earn a spot in the championship game.

The Hawks started strong using a new defense, but were sluggish on offense, shooting only 37%, despite having all 5 starters on the scoreboard.  Samuel Armas led the Hawks at half-time with 8 points. Josh Joines and Brent O’Grady contributed 4 each, while Bryan Powell and Treyvon Smith each added 2 points.  Milwaukee led at halftime 32-21. 

The Hawks offense improved slightly behind the 75% shooting of Samuel Armas who finished with a team high 19 points. Josh Joines finished with 7 points, while Treyvon Smith, Brent O’Grady and Luke Hutchinson added 4 points.  Bryan Powell rounded out the Hawks scoring with 2 points.   Hawks out play the Heat 24-17, including an outstanding 3 point buzzer beater in the second half by Samuel Armas, but the Hawks finish short 49-42, to finish third in the 2014 Music City Madness..

Treyvon Smith was selected to the Varsity All-Tournament Team and Collin LaFon was presented with the 2014 Spirit Award.

The Varsity Hawks finish 3-2 for the tournament for an overall 10-6 record.  In back-to-back weekends, the Hawks have played 11 games and faced 7 of the top 8 teams in the country. In doing so, the Hawks have improved their national ranking from #19 at the beginning of the season to #12 before the Music City tournament to a top 10 ranking going into the 2014 National tournament. Great job Hawks!

BlazeSports would like to thank our Prep Assistant Coaches, Marc Lancaster, Bradley Elzey and Alex Armas for a job well done with our Prep team, who now have a 25 game winning streak dating back to the 2012 National Championship tournament. Thanks also to our Varsity Assistant Coaches Paul Hutchinson and Jason Joines for all their help over the past two weekends.  The success of our Varsity program is directly related to their hard work and commitment to the team. Special thanks to Sharon O’Grady who has volunteered to be the team’s video technician and to all our parents who dealt with a crazy week of weather, school cancelations and tournament travel plans changing by the day.

The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks next  tournament will  be hosted by BlazeSports on March 8-9 in Marietta.

Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter of Facebook .  For more information on BlazeSports Americas’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks basketball program contact Jeff Jones at 404-270-2036 or at jjones@blazesports.org.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Posted in Blog, News, Wheelchair Basketball |

Hawks Undefeated in Day 1 of Music City Madness

2013 Jr WC Hawks LogoBlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks finish Day 1 with a perfect 3-0 mark.  The Varsity squad played only one game against a RHI (Rehab Hospital of Indiana).  The Hawks got off to a slow offense start shooting only 31% in the first half. Samuel Armas led the Hawks with 10 first half points, while Josh Joines added 8 points. The Hawks lead at half time 24-12. 

The second half was more of the same, great defense but sluggish offense, shooting only 30%.  Samuel Armas repeated his first half output with 10 points to finish with a game high 20 points. Josh Joines added 5 and Treyvon scored 6 second half points.  Brent O’Grady, Chance Boyd and Bryan Powell each added at 2 points.  Hawks win 47-24. The Hawks’ Varsity squad plays the #1 seed Houston at 10:30 am on Saturday, a day that could include a total of three games for the Hawks.

The Hawks’ Prep team started the weekend with a game against the Lakeshore Foundation. The young Hawks are known for their defense and today wasn’t any different.  The Hawks held the Lakeshore squad to a game total of 6 points. The Hawks were led by rookie player Eric Francis, who had 10 points. Collin Lancaster scored 6, while Cameron Elzey added 4 points.  John Joiner and Taevan Grant rounded out the Hawks’ scoring with 2 points a piece.  Hawks win 25-6.

Originally, the Hawks’ Prep team was scheduled to play only one game on Friday, but a tournament change had them playing a second game against the Turnstone Flyers (IN).  The Hawks were not only working to maintain their #1 ranking, but they were also defending a winning streak that dates back to the 2012 National Championships.  The game was a defensive battle from the opening tip to the last seconds of the game.  Add a below average shooting percentage (29%) by the Hawks and the game was close and exciting right down to the final buzzer.  The Hawks never trailed and the scores by quarters were: 4-0, 8-6, 14-12, and Hawks win 20-15. Eric Francis led the Hawks with 8 points, while Collin Lancaster scored 6 points.  Cameron Elzey scored 4 points and finished the Hawks’ scoring with 2 points.

The Hawks Prep team will play for the tournament championship at 2:00 pm on Saturday.  The opponent will be determined in games on Saturday morning.

Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter of Facebook .  

Posted in Blog, News, Wheelchair Basketball |

Hawks Compete in the Music City Madness

logoBlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel to Murfreesboro, TN and Middle Tennessee State University for the 2014 Southern Regional Tournament.  Both the Hawks’ Varsity and Prep squads are looking for a successful tournament as they position themselves for the National Championships in April.

While Atlanta was digging out of its second winter snow storm in as many weeks, the NWBA was releasing the first Varsity Division national rankings of the 2014 season.  The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks received a #12 ranking, up from #19 from the end of the 2013 season.  Although Prep Division rankings were not released, since the Hawks’ Prep team is two-time defending national champions who have not lost since first winning the championships in 2012, we can assume they are still the #1 ranked Prep team.

The Hawks start the three day Music City Madness Tournament with both the Prep and Varsity teams playing at 2:30pm.  The Hawks’ Prep squad will play local rival the Lakeshore Foundation (AL).  The Varsity team will face RHI (IN).  If the Hawks win, they both play their second games on Saturday.  The Varsity’s main competition will be on Saturday and will come from the Houston, Milwaukee or Indiana team.

Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter or Facebook .  

Posted in Blog, News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |

BlazeDay At Epstein School

On Friday February 7th the BlazeDay team visited The Epstein School in Sandy Springs.

Throughout the day students from Kindergarten – 8th Grade took part in the Paralympic-style activities.

Former Blazers Maggie Frederick and James Adams joined the Blaze Staff and fielded some great questions from the Epstein students about their experiences as an athlete with a disability.

Thanks to all at The Epstein School for hosting us!

Interested in hosting a BlazeDay at your school or in your local community? Find out more HERE

Posted in BlazeDay, Blog, News, Programs |

Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel to the Dawg Pound

Midwest logo

BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel to Omaha, Nebraska for the 2014 Midwest Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, or as it is affectionately referred to by the locals – The Throw Down in the Dawg  Pound.  The Hawks will play 6 games in two days including 3 games against top 10 ranked teams in the country.  The Hawks will be represented by a partial Varsity squad of 7 players:

  • Samuel Armas #2        Villa Rica                                                                                                                      
  • Joshua Joines #11        Kennesaw                                                                                                                    
  • Treyvon Smith #14      Athens                                                                                                                                
  • Chance Boyd #15          Atlanta                                                                                                                                
  • Brent O’Grady #23       Marietta                                                                                                                             
  • Bryan Powell #25          Marietta                                                                                                                             
  • Luke Hutchinson #43   Marietta

 

Their schedule includes:

Saturday, Feb 8

  • 11:30 am v Sioux Falls (ND) #18    
  • 1:00 pm v Tulsa (OK) not in top 32
  • 4:30 pm v Timberwolves (MN) #4
  • 7:00 pm v Dallas (TX) #6    

Sunday, Feb 9   

  • 8:30 am v Nebraska #2  
  • 10:00 am v Utah not in top 32

The Hawks finished 19th last year and  hope to improve their national ranking to be able to play in the top 16 at this year’s National Championships. 

Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter of Facebook as they fight their way through the Dawg Pound.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Posted in Blog, News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |