33rd Annual Dixie Games Wrap-Up


The 33rd Annual Dixie Games concluded on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th with Track and Field at Alfred E. Thompson Stadium located on the beautiful campus of Westminster Schools Atlanta.  The 33rd installment of the Dixie Games marked its return to Atlanta after three highly successful years in Tampa.  Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation and Paralympic Sport Club Tampa Bay set the bar high as hosts over the last three years but BlazeSports and Shepherd Center met the challenge and provided three full days of competition.

Highlights from the 2013 Dixie Games include:

  • Over 200 athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers attended the Dixie Games which offered Paralympic-style competition in, Archery, Table Tennis, Boccia, Weightlifting, Track and Field,  Swimming, and Wheelchair Fencing



  •  One world record was eclipsed in the Long Jump by Josh Kennsion who is a quadrilateral amputee who runs and jumps on prosthetics


  • One America’s record was eclipsed in discus by Atlanta athlete Cassie Mitchell who is also a Shepherd Center Athlete


  • Numerous National Track and Field records were broken including five by our very own Georgia Blazers; Collin Lancaster, Curran Brown, Bryan Powell, James Adams and Ja-Que Billingsley and,



  • Curtis Lovejoy, 5-time Paralympian, Shepherd Center Athlete and Coach, was inducted into the Dixie Wheelchair Athletic Association Hall of Fame


Spirit of Excellence Award Winners:

Archery:  Catalina Bustamante, Mitchell Miles, Jon Moore 

Fencing:  Ellen Geddes, DeJuan Surrell 

Swimming:  Nigel Hambrick, Ashley Bateman, Beecher Bruno, Madison Stanley 

Table Tennis:  Jeff DeLeon, Catalina Bustamante 

Weightlifting:  Michelle Gowland, Johnnie Alexander, Ja-Que Billingsley, Matthew Giardino 

Boccia:  Tim Field 

Field:  Crystal Molina, Dylan Wilson, Centra Mazyck, James Johnson 

Track:  Curran Brown, Cole Wooten, Michelle Taylor Page, Jose Pulido

Spirit of Excellence Award selection is based upon effort, sportsmanship, knowledge of the sport, and being a role model.


You view photos from the 2013 Dixie Games here:

Friday – Archery, Table Tennis, Boccia, Weightlifting
Saturday – Seated Field, Swimming, Wheelchair Fencing
Sunday – Track and Ambulatory Field

Complete results for the 2013 Dixie Games can be downloaded here: 2013 Dixie Games Results.  For more information about the history of the Dixie Games please visit www.DixieGames.org.  

Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers, athletes, coaches, and officials that made the 2013 Dixie Games a success.

sponsor block

Posted in Archery, Athletics (Track and Field), Boccia, Featured, News, Programs, Swimming, Table Tennis, Veterans, Wheelchair Fencing |

2013 Roosevelt Games


The beautiful facilities at Roosevelt Warm Springs are host to the 2013 Roosevelt Games, a multi-sport Paralympic-style competition for veteran and active duty service personnel with physical disabilities. The event includes competitions in air rifle, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, archery, bowling, cycling and swimming. Instructional sport clinics were also held in field events, air rifle, cycling and swimming. Competition in each sport will offer both Team and Individual awards. The Team accumulating the most point throughout the week will be awarded the Roosevelt Trophy, a traveling award presented to the best overall Team. Fort Stewart is defending 2012 Champions.

This year’s competition includes more that 80 competitors representing the Warrior Transitions Battalions (WTB) from Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart as well as veterans from the Atlanta VA Medical Center, Team Blaze (a group of Georgia veterans that participate in BlazeSports programs) and a number of other veterans from North Carolina and Florida. The 2013 Roosevelt Games is a cooperative event organized by BlazeSports America at Roosevelt Warm Springs with the support of the U.S. Paralympics, a division of the US Olympic Committee, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Roosevelt’s Little White House State Historic Site, Georgia State Parks and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Two new events were added this year, Air Rifle and Cycling. Air rifle was held at the state-of-the-art shooting facility, the Ole Mill Range Complex in Griffin, GA. Special thanks to Roy McClain and the staff at Ole Mill for a great day.  The staff ran an introductory clinic for the competitors that include a practice round.  After lunch, 16 competitors shot two rounds in the prone position.  Jonathan Moore of Team Blaze took top honors with a score of 181 out of a possible 200.  Fort Stewart won the Team award with a three shooter total of 514 points.


Cycling was held in the beautiful F.D. Roosevelt State Park. Special thanks to Desmond Timmons, Park Manager and Park staff for all their assistance as well as the Georgia Department of Natural Resources State Parks and Historic Sites for allowing us to use such a wonderful section of the park.

Competition was held over a single 3.1 mile (5K) road course.  Reggie Arrington (Fort Benning) took the Bike division with a blistering 3:27 time.  Angel Torrez, also from Fort Benning, topped the Handcycling division with a time of 6:43.  Willie Hughes from Fort Gordon took the Recumbent division with a time of 9:44.


The field of Archery competitors doubled from last year and there was great competition in both the Recurve and Compound Division. A salute to the Archery Learning Center in Snellville, GA for the use of the target stands and target. Matt Redding (Fort Gordon) scored 244 to take top honors in the Recurve Division. Angel Torres (Fort Stewart) won the Compound division with a score of 273 of a possible 300. Fort Stewart won the Recurve Team award with a total of 445 points and the Compound Team award with a total of 772.



Swimming, Bowling, Sitting Volleyball, and Wheelchair Basketball highlights as well as the full results will be posted at the conclusion of the 2013 Roosevelt Games.


Posted in Archery, Bowling, Cycling, News, Shooting, Swimming, Veterans, Wheelchair Basketball |

DAV Provides Transportation Assistance for BlazeSports’ Veteran Programs


BlazeSports America is excited to announce that the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust awarded our Georgia Veterans Paralympic Sport Development Program with a grant to provide transportation assistance to veterans interested in participating in programs offered by BlazeSports.

The grant was designed to provide a small mileage stipend to veterans with a disability that meet the U.S. Paralympic/VA eligibility requirements and who participate on a regular basis in any of the following BlazeSports programs:


Handcycling Program

WHEN: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, beginning October 30, 2012
WHERE: Panola Mountain State Park, 2600 Highway 155 SW, Stockbridge, GA


Archery Program

WHEN: 11:45 am – 1:00 pm, beginning November 16, 2012
WHERE: Archery Learning Center, 2164 Fountain Square, Snellville, GA


SWIMMING:  Recreation and competitive lap swim

WHEN: Times different each week and each pool, program year round.
WHERE: Macon, Marietta and Decatur: different pool each week.
Call to make an appointment.


TRACK AND FIELD: Track, field, fitness training

DATES: March – July

The grant will also provide travel assistance to veterans participating in the following special events:

Roosevelt Games – April 9-12, Warm Springs, GA

U.S. Paralympic Training Camp, May 7-9, Warm Springs, GA

2013 Dixie Games, May 10-12, Atlanta and Marietta, GA

BlazeSports America greatly appreciates the support of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust and looks forward to assisting veterans access to sports and recreation programs throughout the state of Georgia.


On the BlazeSports Georgia Veterans Paralympic Sport Development Program call
JEFF JONES @ 404-270-2036 OR EMAIL jjones@blazesports.org

On the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust visit www.cst.dav.org


Posted in Archery, Athletics (Track and Field), News, Veterans |

New Programs for Veterans with Disabilities Offered by BlazeSports


Through grant funding provided by U.S. Paralympics, BlazeSports has recently expanded their programs available to disabled veterans and active duty service members by introducing 2 new sports.

Cycling is now being offered every Tuesday at Panola Mountain State Park.  There are a range of cycles to try including hand cycles and recumbent cycles.  Veterans experience regular physical exercise while enjoying the benefits of  the outdoor lifestyle in the park, located near Stockbridge.

James Johnson and Rodney Roscoe on their cycles.


James gets an upper body workout on the handcycle.

Archery is also new to the program and takes place on Friday afternoons at the Archery Learning Center in Snellville.  Participants receive expert instruction from Level IV USA archery instructor Ginger Hopwood.

Instructor Ginger Hopwood uses a mirror to teach Jonathan Moore proper body mechanics.

In addition to these new activities, bowling continues as a popular pursuit at Suburban Lanes in Decatur.  The program is held each week on a Thursday and are currently working towards their 1st tournament in December.

Veterans bowling at Suburban lanes in Decatur.

Swimming with coach Fred Lamback continues as a regular program.  Veterans and injured active duty members can work with coach Fred on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 12pm—1:30pm at Fort Gordon.

For more information about any of our veteran programs or to register to join a program please contact  Jeff Jones on 404-270-2036 or email jjones@blazesports.org.

Give the gift of sport this holiday season and help create more opportunities for disabled veterans and active duty service members by donating to BlazeSports.  Click HERE to make a donation.

Grant funding for these programs is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs.  These grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the armed forces.

Posted in Archery, Bowling, Cycling, News, Programs, Veterans |

2012 Roosevelt Games Results

Fort Stewart Wins The 2012 Roosevelt Games!

Fort Stewart 2012 Roosevelt Games Champions.


Day 4 of the Roosevelt Games

Friday, April 13 was a day of recreation after three full days of competition.  The day started with an exceptional opportunity arranged Robin Glass of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, specifically the Roosevelt’s Little White Historical Site.  The warriors were given the opportunity to swim in the treatment pools that President Roosevelt had built and which makes Warm Springs, GA, the special place that it is.


Traditionally, the treatment pools are only open to the public twice a year, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Each of those weekends, four groups of 80 people are allowed in the pools each day for a total of around 1000 people twice a year. Reservations are required and people travel from throughout the United States for the privilege of swimming in the Warm Springs Treatment Pools.

After the swim in the treatment pools, the warriors switched their attention to boating activities on the lake at Camp Dream.

The day ended with a trip to Callaway Gardens and an outstanding performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

BlazeSports America would like to thank Reenae White of Roosevelt Warm Springs and all the staff of the Frank C. Ruzycki Center for Therapeutic Recreation for the use of their fantastic facilities and for all their assistance with hosting the Roosevelt Games. Thanks to Robin Glass of the Roosevelt’s Little White Historical Site, for including our group in the FDR Memorial Ceremony on Thursday and for arranging the special opportunity to swim in the Warm Springs Treatment pools.

Special thanks to Greg Schmieg of the Department of Labor, General Larry Ellis and Scott Rigsby representing the Georgia Warrior Alliance for their support of our program. Thanks also to Eagle Sports Chairs for the assistance with our equipment needs, Georgia Beverage Association for providing bottled water and Idealease for the use of a rental truck.

Day 3 started with the participants of the Roosevelt Games attending the 67th Commemorative Ceremony that paid tribute to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Games is a new collaborative event with BlazeSports America, Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, the Georgia State Parks and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources that will now be part of the annual events held in Warm Springs each year celebrating the life and accomplishments of FDR.

The Little White House remains as it was 67 years ago when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt suffered a stroke and passed away.

With the preliminaries out of the way, Day 3 of the Roosevelt Games was reserved for Cycling and the championship games in sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Only Fort Benning took advantage of the Cycling competition and had four riders, three riders in cycling and one rider in the recumbent class. Alex Aponte won the Gold with a 3 mile time of 10:13.97. Orlando Guzman took the Silver with a time of 10:59.44, while Jennifer Garrett won the Bronze with a time of 12:14.13. William Dawson won the Gold in the Recumbent class with a 3 mile time of 1:02.47.

Alex Aponte wins Gold asFortBenningcaputres the Team Cycling .

William Dawson won the Gold in the Recumbent class with a 3 mile time of 1:02.47.

With two events remaining, the winner of the overall team award will come down to the winner of the Sit Volleyball and Wheelchair Basketball championship games. Fort Benningand FortStewart played in both games. Volleyball was up first. In the preliminary rounds, Fort Stewart beat Fort Benningin two straight games. The tables would be turned in the final. Fort Benning won the first game easily 25-16. Fort Stewart made it a game in game 2, but Benning held off the late surge from Stewart to win 25-20 and the Sitting Volleyball Championship.

Action during the sitting volleyball championship match.

A FortBenning player prepares for a serve.

The Wheelchair Basketball final also had Fort Stewart going head-to-head with Fort Benning. In the prelims, Fort Benning had the advantage and an easy 34-13 win. Today’s gamed turned out to be much closer. At the half, Stewart had a one point lead, 14-13, in a fast paced defensive struggle. During the final 20 minutes, Stewart kept the pressure on and pulled out a 30-25 win and the championship. Fort Stewart’s J. Myers led all scorers with 16 points.

J. Myers of Fort Stewart controls the tip and goes on the be high scorer with 16 points to lead Fort Stewart to the wheelchair basketball Championship.

The presentation of the Roosevelt Trophy is based on points scored in five events: Archery, Bowling, Cycling, Sitting Volleyball and Wheelchair Basketball. Fort Stewart edged out Fort Benning to win the 2012 Roosevelt Cup. Points scored were:






Total points


Atlanta VA








Fort Benning








Fort Gordon








Fort Stewart








Individual awards were also presented in Archery, Cycling, and Bowling. BlazeSports would like to thank special guests General Larry R .Ellis and Scott Rigsby for their assisting with the Awards presentations.

Special guests General Larry R .Ellis and Scott Rigsby present the Atlanta VA’s Bowling Team with the Gold Medal for Team Bowling.

Final results will be posted here in a few days.


Basketball, Archery and Bowling Highlight Day 2

It was a busy Day 2 at the 2012 Roosevelt Games with competition in wheelchair basketball, archery and bowling. In the preliminaries of wheelchair basketball, Fort Benning’s speed and outside shooters earned them the first spot in Thursday’s championship game with a 34 – 13 win over Fort Stewart. Fort Stewart rebounded off the loss and beat Fort Gordon in a tough defensive game 21-18. J. Myers of Fort Stewart led all scorers with 14 points. It will be Fort Stewart in a rematch against Fort Benning for the wheelchair basketball championship.

Fort Stewart regains a loose ball in a game against Fort Gordon.


Fort Gordon (in red) playing tough defense against a taller and more experience Fort Stewart.

Archery included some outstanding competition in the Individual and Team divisions. Fort Stewart wins bot the Recurve Team award and the Compound Team award. Fort Stewart’s Recurve Team consisted of Donna Pratt (185 points), John Brooks (224 points) and Mike Gaynor (132 points) for a total of 541 points. Fort Benning’s Recurve Team scored 392 points and included William Dawson (190 points), Jennifer Garrett-Grossarth (93 points) and Randall Jones (109 points).

The Recurve individual awards end up as:

1. John Brooks Fort Stewart 224 pts

2. William Dawson Fort Benning 190 pts

3. Donna Pratt Fort Stewart 185 pts.

4. Mike Gaynor Fort Stewart 132 pts

5. Randall Jones Fort Benning 109 pts

6. Jennifer Garrett-Grossarth Fort Benning 93 pts

Mike Gaynor placed 4th overall in the Recurve division, but helped Fort Stewart to a 1st place finish in the Team division.

Although, Fort Stewart was unopposed in the Compound division, Randall Jones won top honors with a score of 264. The results for compound division include:

1. Randall Jones Fort Benning 264 pts

2. Mike Paredes Fort Stewart 258 pts

3. Sandy Mojica Fort Stewart 241 pts

4. James Lamacche Fort Stewart 187 pts.

Special thanks to the Gainesville Archery Club and the Archery Learning Center of Snellville for thier assistance with the archery equipment for this competition.

In the Bowling competition, Team VA from the Atlanta VA surprises the WTU teams and took the Team award with a combined score of 289, The VA Team was led by Roscoe with a score of 121. Fort Gordon captured the Silver with a three player total of 238 and Fort Stewart the Bronze with a team score of 185.


Competition Starts Strong at Roosevelt Games

The beautiful facilities at Roosevelt Warm Springs were host to the 2012 Roosevelt Games, a multi-sport Paralympic-style competition for veteran and active duty service personnel with physical disabilities. The event will include competitions in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, archery, bowling and cycling, as well as clinics in track and field and swimming. Each sport will have both Team and Individual awards. The Team accumulating the most point through the week will be awarded the Roosevelt Cup, a traveling award presented to the best overall Team.

Day 1 at the 2012 Roosevelt Games opened with stiff competition in sitting volleyball.  The preliminary matches would decide which two of the three teams would meet in the championship game on Thursday. Fort Benning started the tournament against Fort Gordon and had a see-saw battle and ended up winning the first two games 25-18, 25-18 to win the match. Fort Benning then faced Fort Stewart which proved to be a stronger opponent.  Fort Stewart won the match in two games, 25-20 and 25-17.

Fort Stewart advances to Championship game in sitting volleyball with wins over Fort Benning and Fort Gordon

In the final preliminary match Fort Stewart faced Fort Gordon.  Fort Stewart used the momentum from their earlier win to cruise to a comfortable two game win, 25-14 and 25-17.  With a 2-0 record in the preliminary round Fort Stewart earns on of the spots in Thursday’s championship game.  The 1-1 Fort Benning will meet Fort Stewart for the sitting volleyball price.

Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon players after their prelim match

Action also happened off the volleyball court with more than 20 veterans and warriors taking part in the first of several field event clinics. Discus was the event of the day and J. Myers of Fort Stewart led the way on the ambulatory men’s side with a throw of 24.43, followed closely by J. Williams of Fort Benning who had a throw of 23.26. L. Godfrey of Fort Stewart led the women with a throw of 16.98, while J. Swafford of the Atlanta VA had the honors in the wheelchair division with a toss of 11.32.

C. Ingrim representing Fort Stewart gets advice before his discus throw.

Day 1 also included practice sessions for Wednesday competition. Fort Stewart took advantage of the evening open gym program to get some wheelchair basketball practice in.  Fort Stewart will play Fort Benning twice, once on Wednesday and again for the championship on Thursday.

Fort Stewart takes advantage of the gym time at Roosevelt Warm Springs.

Basketball was not the only practice going on Tuesday evening. Across the hall in the beautiful six lane bowling alley, folks warmed up for Wednesday’s bowling competition, which will include both Team and Individual Division.

Darrell Fisher, Airforce veteran from South Carolina tries to find the right line before Wednesday competition.

Posted in Archery, Athletics (Track and Field), Cycling, Featured, News, Swimming, Volleyball (Sitting), Wheelchair Basketball | Tagged , , , , , , , |

BlazeSports Offers Train-the-Trainer Archery Workshop at Fort Stewart for WTU

BlazeSports staff and Level 4 USA Archery Instructor Ginger Hopwood hosted a day long Train-the-Trainer USA Archery Level 1 Instructor certification clinic for staff of Fort Stewart’s Warrior Transition Unit. Archery is one of the most popular sports for WTU service members. The day-long clinic included a mixture of classroom lectures and hands-on training with archery equipment at the Fort Stewart archery range.

Ginger Hopwood providing one-on-one instruction during the USA Archery Level 1 certification progam.

USA Archery Level Four National Instructor, Ginger Hopwood, includes a detailed equipment orientation as part of the Level 1 USA Archery Instructor Certification class.

Thirteen WTU personnel participated. Eight of the thirteen completed the full day of instruction and passed the certification test.  The certified personnel will be charged with organizing an ongoing archery program at Fort Stewart so WTU service members will be able to train for the annual Warrior Games as well as the inter-installation competitions held between Forts Benning, Stewart, Gordon and Jackson.

Warrior Transition Unit personnel takes turns being instructor and student.

Posted in Archery, News |

BlazeSports America Teams Up with Fort Benning

2011 Four-Post Paralympic Regional Games comes to an end at Fort Benning

Day 3 started with a sitting volleyball match, the final competition of the three days of events. In the first match, Fort Benning beat Fort Gordon 2-0 (25-18, 25-12). In the second match, Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon played the most exciting match of the day. Fort Stewart needed a tiebreaker to defeat Fort Gordon 2-1 (25-15, 20-25, 15-6), setting up the final against the home team.   In the big Sitting Volleyball final, Fort Benning had a tremendous performance to guarantee first place, beating Fort Stewart in a one game match (25-15).

Follow a morning of exciting volleyball, the Fort Benning staff held an Awards Ceremony. The final standings for the Regional Games were:

  1. Fort Benning – 1086.6 pts
  2. Fort Gordon – 1038.3 pts
  3. Fort Stewart – 953.3 pts
  4. Fort Jackson – 806.3 pts

After the Awards Ceremony, BlazeSports staff, Cheryl Holiday, Cully Mason, and Felipe Rodrigues, were honored to receive from LTC, LG Gregory Hopkins a Certificate of Appreciation and a medal from Fort Benning Warrior Transition Battalion for the support, dedication, and commitment to the Warrior Transition soldiers during the 2011 Four-Post Paralympic Regional Games.

Wheelchair Basketball Tops Day 2 of Competition at Fort Benning

Day 2 was divided between wheelchair basketball and sit volleyball. Basketball was up first with a morning clinic.  Georgia Blazer Head Coach, Cully Mason, implemented the clinic and reviewed basic rules and offensive and defensive strategies. Once the clinic ended, efforts turned to a very competitive tournament between Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, and Fort Stewart. In the first match, Fort Gordon beat Fort Stewart in a very close game with a final score of 12 to 10. After the win, Fort Gordon had the chance to analyze their opponent in the tournament final when Fort Stewart took on the home team Fort Benning.   The home team had a great game and won 23 to 12, setting up the championship game against Fort Stewart. In front of a crowd of approximately 50 spectators, Fort Benning got another win, 18 to 5, in a game that was much closer than the final score suggested. The home crowd celebrated Fort Benning’s win, rushing the court to congratulate the winners! The afternoon of Day 2 was spent in a sitting volleyball clinic for 15 players and a crowd of 24 spectators.  Blaze staff Cheryl Holiday coordinated skills and drills to get the squads ready for the final day of competition, which will start at 9am with the volleyball tournament followed by the awards ceremony.

BlazeSports America Supports Warrior Transition Battalion Clinic & Competition Games

A team of three BlazeSports staff traveled to Columbus, Georgia to assist SFC Ronald Black and the Fort Benning Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) with a three day WTB Clinic & Competition Games. The Games are part of an ongoing U.S. Paralympic Military program that involves warriors in transition from the three major military bases in Georgia (Fort Benning, Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon) and Fort Jackson in South Carolina. Day 1 of the Games included clinics in air weapons and archery. BlazeSports staff Felipe Rodrigues, Cully Mason and Cheryl Holiday assisted in the management of the archery clinic and competition. BlazeSports partnered with two local companies to coordinate the archery clinic and competition. Technical assistance was provided by Ginger Hopwood a USA Archery Level 4 Coach from the Archery Learning Center of Snellville,  GA and Phillip Baldowski, who is ranked 17th in the country and is trying to make the US Olympic Archery team that will compete in London 2012. Five targets and targets stands were provided by Patrick Reinhardt of Last Chance Archery of Pendergrass, GA.

After a morning of practice, WTB warriors went head to head in ten round archery competition. Each participant shot three arrows per round for a total of 30 arrows. Fort Jackson came out on top with Terry Blogg scoring 283 points out of 300 possible. In second place, representing Fort Gordon, Corey Simpson scored 279 points, followed by Fort Gordon’s teammate William Taylor who finished with 274 points in a tie with Charles Davis, representing Fort Benning.

The competition is just starting and tomorrow Wheelchair Basketball will be the main event. The clinic will start at 8am, and the competition will follow at 9:30am.

Posted in Archery, News, Volleyball (Sitting), Wheelchair Basketball |