BlazeSports’ 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 .
BlazeSports’ 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 .
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
James Adams leads Sitting Volleyball
Epstein students line up for wheelchair relays
Volleyball with Maggie Frederick
An adpated version of the Paralympic sport of Goal Ball
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.
BlazeSports are delighted to welcome Josh Blue as the first BlazeSports Ambassador. Josh visited Atlanta recently and took part in the BlueBlaze Event in collaboration with Emory University Disability Studies Initiative.
The event was a lighthearted showcase of comedy, disability awareness and the value of sport.
Josh Blue and BlazeSports’ Executive Director Jon McCullough are former team mates from the US National Paralympic Soccer Team and shared many amusing stories from their games and travels with this team.
Josh Blue uses many of these anecdotes in his stand-up comedy show which is currently touring the US.
See the full video coverage of BLUEBLAZE: A CONVERSATION ABOUT DISABILITY, SPORTS, COMEDY, LEADERSHIP AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
Josh has become an advocate for people with disabilities around the world and his experience at the highest level of Sport makes him an excellent choice as the first BlazeSports Ambassador.
Stay tuned for more details about the BlazeSports Ambassador Initiative.
Wheelchair Rugby, Smashing Stereotypes One Hit at a Time
When: January 22, 2014, 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST
Presenters: Jeff Jones, BlazeSports America, USA Head Coach James Gumbert, and current co-captain and USA National Team member, Joe Delagrave
Continuing Education Units: 0.1 CEU credit will be provided
Description: You may have heard of the sport described as Murderball or competition in “Mad Max-style” chairs, created in Canada to give opportunity for quadriplegics. It has been featured in the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated documentary, Murderball, which follows the pitted rivalry between USA and Canada, and the life of USA Wheelchair Rugby athletes on their quest for gold in the Athens Paralympic games.
Join us for a view into one of the fastest growing parasports in the world, through the eyes of USA Head Coach James Gumbert and current co-captain and USA National Team member, Joe Delagrave. With sellout crowds at the London 2012 Games, three gold medals in 2013, regain of their number one ranking, and a new partnership with USA Rugby, wheelchair rugby is poised to reclaim their World Championship title in 2014 and dominate the Rio 2016 Games. Learn more about the sport as a whole, how it changes lives, and how you can support or get involve.
About the Access to Sport Webinar Series
This webinar series is brought to you by The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Community and BlazeSports. The BlazeSports America Access to Sport webinar series is designed to introduce people with spinal cord injury and other mobility impairments to the wide world of adapted sport.
Amandi and Colin Lancaster
Amandi Rhett joined BlazeSports as a volunteer with the track and field program in 2012 and since then has devoted many hours to training the Georgia Blazers athletes and preparing them for a number of competitions throughout the season.
As a former member of the Women’s Track team at Georgia Tech, Amandi naturally took a lead role with the young track athletes, using her personal experience of training and competing at a high level to encourage the athletes each week to improve on their personal performance.
As a result of her commitment to the training program, Amandi was invited to travel with the team to Minnesota for the Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports (WASUSA) National Junior Disability Championships (NJDC) as head coach for track and field. Amandi was on hand both track side and in the field pits to offer advice and last minute motivation to the athletes as they prepared for their events. The hard work of Amandi and the athletes paid off with every member of the travelling GA Blazers team breaking a National record. The majority of athletes also finished 1st place in each of their track or field events – a fantastic achievement and the culmination of an excellent season.
In addition to her love of the sport of track and field, Amandi also has a strong interest in Prosthetics and Orthotics and volunteering for BlazeSports is a great way to combine her passion for both. She recounts how participation in track and field has had a profound impact on her life.
“It has afforded me a great education and an opportunity to travel the world. Mostly, I love how participation in athletics builds discipline, character, and self confidence in young people and I have enjoyed participating in the personal growth and development of the Georgia Blazers Track and Field team.”
BlazeSports is delighted to have Amandi as part of the team and would like to thank her for her time, energy and commitment to the Track and Field program over the past two years.