Hawks in the Pioneer Classic

Hawks Sweep Pioneer Classic

This weekend BlazeSports Junior Wheelchair Hawks traveled to the 28th Annual Pioneer Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham. Recognized as one of the largest and most prestigious wheelchair basketball tournaments in the nation, teams from across the country are selected to participate in the invitational. Fourteen adult teams and four youth teams competed, totaling over 200 athletes.

The Junior Hawks Varsity and Prep teams each played a double header against Lakeshore’s varsity and prep teams.

The Varsity squad started the day off with a low scoring defensive game against the Lakeshore Lakers. Josh Joines and Brent O’Grady led the Hawks at halftime with 8 points each. Hawks led at the break 24-12.  The Hawks tightened their defense in the second half only allowing the Lakers 6 more points. Josh Joines finished 14 points, followed by Brent O’Grady with 12 points. Jordon Kozloski added 8 points, with Treyvon Smith scoring 4 points and Luke Hutchinson adding 2 points. Hawks win 40-18.

In the second varsity game the Hawks had a better offensive outing while at the same time maintaining a great defensive effort. Josh Joines led all scorers with 23 points, followed by Brent O’Grady, Jordon Kozloski and Treyvon Smith with 6 points each. KJ Reese and Collin LaFon scored 4 points and Cameron Elzey and Chance Boyd added 2 points. Hawks win 53-17 to improve their season record to 10-6.

The Hawks Prep team continued their season’s winning streak with two wins over the Lakeshore Sharks. The Hawks’ Prep team presented a challenge to Coach Marc Lancaster when all 15 players attended, the first time this season the whole team was able to make the tournament. In the first match up the Hawks started strong behind great defense from their starting five players.  Eric Francis led the Hawks at halftime with 6 points followed by Collin Lancaster with 4 points. Hawks up 14-2 at halftime. The second half the Hawks rotated in all 10 bench players. Eric Francis led the Hawks with 8 points. Collin Lancaster, Bailey Moody and Taevan Grant each added 4 points. Zachary Armas, Tanner Atkins and Malachi Kirkland scored 2 points.  Hawks win 26-16.

In the second game the Hawk Prep squad repeated their efforts from game one, making sure all 15 players got playing time. Rookie Bailey Moody led all scorers with 12 points followed by Eric Francis with 8 points and Collin Lancaster with 6 points. Taevan Grant and Malachi Kirkland rounded out the scoring by adding 2 points.  Hawks win 30- 17 to extend their season record to a perfect 11-0 with an overall win streak that started last season of 15 wins in a row.

Check out the Pioneer Classic Shooting Stats 


For more information on the BlazeSports Junior Hawks Wheelchaor basketball program contact Jessie Romito at jromito@blazesports.org.

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NEW BlazeSports Boccia Program

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Register now for BlazeSports Climbing 2015

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Help kids like Cade reach their goals


In June 2011, Cade, age 7, was swimming in a creek near his home when a huge tree fell on him. Cade sustained a spinal cord injury and a traumatic brain injury. 

The following year, with clearance from his doctors, Cade’s parents brought him to a track and field practice with BlazeSports. Cade immediately thrived on the competition, the chance to meet friends and the opportunity to put all his bubbling energy into activities that he loved. One sport wasn’t enough, Cade then joined the BlazeSports wheelchair basketball program and now trains and competes weekly with BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks. Add in swimming, climbing and water sports and you can’t keep this action man still for long! Cade’s mom has seen a huge difference in her son since taking up sports:

“BlazeSports has given Cade the competition he craves, the determination to become better, and the companionship he needs. Cade loves being around his friends because he isn’t “different”. As parents we get to know the other parents who have become our support system. We all love to see our kids succeed!” 

This holiday season please consider a donation to BlazeSports to help us continue to provide these ‘life-changing’ opportunities for children like Cade and their families. We can only do it with the support of generous donors like you.

Thank You and Happy Holidays from all of us at BlazeSports








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BlazeSports Haiti Celebrates

BlazeSports Haiti Celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities


December 3 marked International Day of People with People with Disabilities (IDPD) and BlazeSports Haiti celebrated this important day with a fun and inclusive sport festival at Centre Foyer d’Amour in Port-Au-Prince.  Two hundred children with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities participated together, demonstrating the power of sport and physical activity as vehicles for inclusion.  Many thanks to partners Gerrard Pierre-Charles Foundation, Haiti National Paralympic Committee and participating schools.Institut Monfort 042

Many of the children participating attend one of the three schools in Haiti implementing adapted physical education and physical activity programs developed by BlazeSports as part of an initiative funded by the UN, Office on Sport, Development and Peace.  Programs are facilitated in the schools by staff and teachers trained through this same initiative.




In 1992, the UN proclaimed December 3 as International Day for Persons with Disabilities to raise awareness, across all sectors of society around the world, about the importance of focusing on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents of change.  Each year a different them is celebrated.

For more information about BlazeSports’ work in Haiti, contact Felipe Rodrigues at 404-270-2037




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Announcing the launch of VA Paralympic Soccer Camp Program

In partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation and U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, BlazeSports is excited to announce the pilot of the nation’s first “VA Paralympic Soccer Camp” program.

This BlazeSports’ program is designed specifically to identify injured military personnel and ex-service veterans who qualify to compete in Paralympic 7-a-side Soccer. Athletes selected for the program will attend a six day camp held in Atlanta, GA at Oglethorpe University where they will participate in daily soccer sessions under the supervision of qualified U.S Soccer coaches. In total 3 camps will be held in Atlanta this year with all travel, accommodation and food expenses provided to attending athletes. During each camp players will have the opportunity to impress US Soccer coaching staff with the chance of being selected for the Paralympic National Soccer Team.

U.S. Soccer’s Paralympic Head Coach said regarding this new project “this is an exciting new partnership with BlazeSports that will be increase opportunities for injured current and ex service personnel to access this game of soccer. This will hopefully just be the start of many new grassroots partnerships that will in time grow awareness and participation of Paralympic Soccer across the country.”  

For any questions regarding the VA Paralympic Soccer Camp, please contact Sam Zapatka, coordinator of the program by email: szapatka@blazesports.org

VA Poster Group Veterans

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BlazeSports Junior Hawks take 3rd in Whitewater

Day 2: Midwest Junior Regional Tournament

BlazeSports Junior  Hawks finished 2-1 in Day 1 to earn them three games on Day 2. The Hawks started with a 8:00 am re-match against #8 ranked Turnstone Flyers (IN).  The Hawks easily handled the Flyers in their first meeting, winning 71-43. The Hawks started slow start but led at half-time 26-20, behind 12 points from Josh Joines and 6 points from Brent O’Grady.  It took the first half for the Hawks to get back into their game and it showed in the second half.  The Hawks had 8 of 9 players on the offense score sheet and scored 36 points in the second while holding the Flyers to only 14 second half points.  Hawks win 62-34. Josh Joines led the Hawks with 16, followed by Brent O’Grady with 14 and Samuel Armas and Treyvon Smith both with 8 points.  Cameron Elzey and Jordan Kolowski added 6, while Chance Boyd and KJ Reese each scored 2 points.

Like Saturday, Day 2 involved back to back games.  Next up for the Hawks was the Nebraska Red Dawgs. The Dawgs are ranked #10, but all indications were they were all the team they have been the past 3-4 years, which was top 4 in the country.  The Hawks’ offense stalled a bit in the first half. Offense powerhouse Josh Joines was held to only 2 points.  Nebraska led 36-21 at the half.  The Hawks made a run for it in the second half playing the Red Dawgs even, 32-32, but ended up short 68-53. Josh Joines finished strong and ended up with 24 points. Brent O’Grady and Samul Armas both scored 8 points.  Treyvon Smith added 6 points and KJ Reese and Luke Hutchinson rounded out the scoring with 4 and I points respectively.

The loss sent the Hawks to the 3rd/4th place playoff game against the #3 ranked and local favorite Milwaukee Heat.  The Heat had the upper hand on Day 1, beating the Hawks 44-38. However the Hawks were confident that they could play with the Heat. The offensive momentum was up for both teams in the first half and Hawks trailed 30-28 at the midway point.  Josh Joines led the first half effort with 18 points with Brent O’Grady adding 4 points.

The second half was more of the same, a see-saw offensive game with neither team extending the lead by more than 4 points. The difference from the first match up was the Hawks were able to stay of out foul trouble. The Heat repeated their first half 30 point performance and led 60-59 with 12 seconds left to go.  Hawks had possession and quickly move the ball towards the basket. Brent O’Grady received the pass and was able to score while being fouled.  Brent makes the free throw and HAWKS WIN 62-60. Josh Joines led the Hawk with 28 points. Sam Armas had his best offensive game of the tournament and scored 14. The star of the game Brent O’Grady added 12 points, while Treyvon Smith and Chance Boyd rounded out the scoring with 4 points each.

team photo

Well done to the BlazeSports Junior Hawks (Varsity Team)

For this young squad to earn a 3rd place finish in a regional tournament that had 6 top ten ranked teams, the Hawks are to be congratulated for one of their best tournament performance ever.  Their scoring average of 58 points per game is the highest in Hawks history and a great sign as they prepare for the 2015 National Championships in April. 

For more information on the BlazeSports Junior Hawks, contact Jessie Romito at jromito@blazesports.org or call 404-270-2000



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