Coralwood BlazeDay

Blaze visited Coralwood school in Decatur this month as part of their exceptional children’s week activities.  Coralwood is becoming a regular fixture on the calender and we love to visit this unique school.  The student population is Pre K and Kindergarten and has a high number of children with a range of disabilities.  During the BlazeDay the children tried wheelchair relays, goal ball and sitting volleyball.

Thanks to Mr Schoates, PE Teacher and all the staff at Coralwood for hosting us again! As always we had great fun!

Posted in Blog, News, Programs |

Operation Blaze: Veteran Athletes In Training for the Competition Season

Over the course of the last couple of months, our veteran athletes have been extremely active with many weekly programs. As the 

Jacques workoutRoosevelt and Dixie Games approach in April and May, our veteran athletes have been training hard in preparation of bringing home some hardware. Jacques Swafford has recently found his niche in the weight room as he has been training rigorously every Monday and Wednesday at the Coan Recreation Center in Decatur.

Specifically, Jacques is focusing on his field event techniques which include javelin, shot-put, and discus. He is committed to qualifying for the VA standards.  As our indoor archery program makes its way outside to Panola Park at the end of March, our veteran athletes have been very successful under Paralympic Coach Ginger Hopwood.  Keith Thompson, the newest member to our program, has been a standout archer as he routinely hits the bulls-eye.

James cycle

 

 

Despite the bitter cold in the past few months, many of our veteran athletes have attended our cycling program at Panola Park. While the trails are notorious for difficult hills and sharp turns, they do not stop Rony Carolus and James Johnson. Both athletes have improved substantially since the beginning of the season and we look forward to cheering them on during the Roosevelt Games, Dixie Games, and Valor games. 

Are you a veteran or an active duty service member with a physical disability?

Contact Sam Zapatka for information about getting involved: szapatka@blazesports.org  (404) 270 2000

Posted in Blog, Programs, Veterans |

2014 Southeast Regional Wheelchair Basketball Championships

BlazeSports SEC Logo 2014

Hawks Win SEC Titles

Congratulations to the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity and Prep teams for winning the 2014 Southeast Regional Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.  The Hawks Varsity squad earned a back-to-back SEC title, while the Hawks Prep team extended their winning streak since 2012 to 30 straight games and their third consecutive SEC Championship.

Prep Win

The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep Team celebrate their SEC Win

The Hawks Prep team would face the Mississippi Wheel Cats twice on Day 2 of the tournament.  The Wheel Cats were victorious over the Lakeshore Sharks and Charlotte Bobcats and earned a spot in the Prep Championship Game.  However, they would have to play the Hawks in the final game of the preliminary round. The Hawks played one of their best games of the year with 5 of the 8 players in the scoring column. Collin Lancaster led the Hawks with 12 points, while both Eric Francis and Taevan Grant each added 8 points. Cameron Elzey and John Joiner rounded out the scoring with 4 points each.  Hawks win the first game 36-13.

Both teams had a three hour break before the Championship rematch.  The Hawks went into the Championship game, their last regular season game before Nationals, concentrating on defense.  The dynamic duo of Cameron Elzey and Collin Lancaster led the Hawks’ defense which held the Wheel Cats to only 5 points.  On the offensive side of the score sheet the Hawks were able to get 6 of 8 players contributing.  Eric Francis led all scorers with 10 points and was followed closely by Collin Lancaster who had 8 points.  Jon Joiner scored 4 points and Taevan Grant, Cameron Elzey and Cade Maynor each had 2 points. Hawks win 26-5.

Collin Lancaster was voted to the Prep All-Tournament Team, while Eric Francis won his second consecutive MVP trophy.

Varsity win

The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varisty Team with their championship trophy

On the Varsity side of the tournament the Hawks also had to play a final preliminary game against the Junior Thunder (NC).  The Hawks continued to work on getting all 12 players quality playing minutes as well as scoring opportunities.  Seven Hawks made the score sheet with Treyvon Grant leading the way with 12 points and Kalen Reese and Joshua Joines each adding 8 points.  Chance Boyd and  Luke Hutchinson each had 4 points and Samuel Armas and Makayla Jones rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.  Hawks win 40-26. 

The Hawks moved on to the Championship game against regional rivals the Lakeshore Lakers (AL).  This would be a rematch from Saturday’s game which the Hawks won easily 55-28. The Hawks jumped out to an early lead behind a very successful full court press. Hawks led at the intermission 30-11.  The second half belonged to the reserves and 8 of the 12 Hawks made the score column. Hawks win 49-35.  Joshua Joines the Hawks with 12 points, followed closely by Bryan Powell who had a season high 10 points. Treyvon Smith and Samuel Armas scored 6 points while Chance Boyd and Brent O’Grady each added 4 points.  Kalen Reese and Luke Hutchinson rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.

Samuel Armas received All-Tournament honors while Joshua Joines was voted MVP of the Varsity tournament. The Varsity Hawks finished the regular season 14-6 and are currently ranked #10 in the country.

BlazeSports would like the thank Cole Sulmonetti, an intern from Georgia State University for all his help in organizing this years tournament.  Thanks to the Suwanee Sports Academy Cobb for hosting the third consecutive SEC Championship. Special thanks to our sponsors: Eagle Sportschairs, Chick fil-A, Domino Pizza, Publix and Jimmy Johns.

Thank you also to the volunteers who assisted with everything from score keeping to distributing lunches.  Your contribution made a huge difference to the event.

Sponsors

Congratulations to all the teams on a great tournament!

 2014 SEC Scores and Awards

 

Check out the excellent post on the weekends events from BigSportsReport.com

http://bigsportsreport.com/atlanta-jr-wheelchair-hawks-dominate/

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, Featured, News, Wheelchair Basketball |

Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games

The Winter Paralympic Games begin in Sochi, Russia on Friday March 7th.  We will be following the progress and unique stories of top athletes from the U.S. and around the world.  

BlazeSports’ Chief Executive Jon McCullough is in attendance in Sochi in his role as member of the International Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Council.  Jon will be interviewing athletes and keeping us up to date with whats going on in Sochi. 

NBC Olympics and the United States Olympic Committee will present an unprecedented 52 hours of coverage of the upcoming Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games across NBC and NBCSN including 27 hours of live coverage, beginning with the Opening Ceremony on March 7 at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN.  TeamUSA.org will live stream all events from the Paralympic Winter Games.  WILL YOU BE WATCHING?

Sochi 2014 Teleconference  - Tune in on THURSDAY MARCH 6TH with Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics for the United States Olympic Committee, U.S. Paralympic cross-country skier Tatyana McFadden, snowboarder Amy Purdy  and sled hockey player and Marine Corps veteran Josh Sweeney.

 

Full TV Schedule for NBC and NBCSN coverage of Paralympics 2014

Sochi 2014 Schedule and Results 

The U.S. Paralympic Team for Sochi 2014 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog, News |

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 |