Wheelchair Sports Federation | Adaptive Sports Organization
16th Annual Al Youakim Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Print E-mail
Written by John Hamre   



16th Annual Al Youakim Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was held at Hackensack Middle School (NJ) from Saturday October 29th to Sunday October 31st, 2010.  The tournament included 5 National Wheelchair Basketball Teams (NWBA) from Division 3.  It all started off with a clinic for the local Jr Nets Wheelchair Basketball Prep Team and for the next two days 12 very competitive games were played.  The New York Rollin' Knicks faced off against the Connecticut Spokebenders with the Knicks winning the Championship.  The rankings for the tournament are as follows with All-Star and other awards given.




1st Place - New York Rollin Knicks

2nd Place - Connecticut Spokebenders

3rd Place - Bulova Nets 

4th Place- New England Blazers

5th Place - New York Nets





Classification I - Kevin Grant - New York Rollin Knicks

Classification II - Kelly Lavoie - Connecticut Spokebenders


Classification II - Paul Ward - Bulova Nets

Classification II - Paul Cowan - New England Blazers


Classification III - Josh Levine - Connecticut Spokebenders

Classification III - Faizool Ali - New York Rollin Knicks


Freddy Jones Sportsmanship Award - Jason Salawu - Bulova Nets


Al Youakim Spirit Award - Gerry Fleming - New York Rolling Knicks


MVP - Edy Lopez - NY Rollin' Knicks 


Raffle Winner - NJ Nets Team Autographed Basketball - Darrell Ruopp - Connecticut Spokebenders

Raffle Winner - NJ Nets Team Autographed Basketball - Linas Pagano - Connecticut Spokebenders


Thanks to all our great sponsors, the NJ Nets and Wheelchair Sports Federation and all the great volunteers who made this a great success.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 18:51
4th Annual NY Jets v NY Giants Wheelchair Football Game Print E-mail
Written by Peter Quartuccio   


Gang Green Staves Off Big Blue to Win the 4th Annual Wheelchair Football Championship


 BROOKHAVEN, NYIn the height of football season, the New York Giants and New York Jets wheelchair football teams took to the gridiron this past Saturday, November 6 at Diamond in the Pines Field in Brookhaven, New York for the 4th Annual Wheelchair Football game.  The contest was close throughout, and went down to the final whistle, but when the smoke cleared, it was the Jets who were victorious.


            The first few possessions gave a good indication of how tight a game this would be.  The Jets appeared to be the more skilled unit from the onset, but the Giants refused to go away quietly.  Never was this more apparent than early in the second half of play.  The Jets had finally broken through near the end of the second quarter when quarterback Jason Soricelli connected with wide receiver Eddie Lopez for the first touchdown of the game.  This could have demoralized the Giants, who had squandered several scoring opportunities early in the game, but Big Blue instead responded with a touchdown of their own shortly into the third quarter, a coast-to-coast score between Mark James and Luis Dalmau that tied the game at 6.  In the fourth, the Jets methodically marched down the field with a 10+ play drive that ended in yet another Soricelli-Lopez touchdown, putting them up 12-6 with only minutes to play.  The Giants once again refused to back down, but their comeback tries were consistently squelched by the fierce Jets’ defense.  Their swarming fourth quarter pass rush completely overwhelmed the Giants, who were sacked several times in the final few minutes of the game, and helped the Jets hold on for the 12-6 victory.  Eddie Lopez was named the game’s Most Valuable Player for his excellence on both sides of the ball; in addition to his two touchdown catches, Lopez also collected two first-half interceptions that killed Giants’ drives.  George Taborsky, with his two second-half sacks, also came up big for the Jets. 

           Thanks to all the volunteers who came to help, NYGFL for refereeing the game and Chili's for donating the food & drink and cooking for over 100 people.  We could not have don it without their help.

 For more information about this and other adapted sports and events, please visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 November 2010 22:05
10th Annual NYC Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Print E-mail
Written by Peter Quartuccio   


NEPVA Celtics Finish On Top for the Second Consecutive Year


BRONX, NYThey faced long odds and a strong field, but the NEPVA Celtics extended their reign as champs, beating the Connecticut Spokebenders in the Championship Game at the 10th Annual Mayor’s Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Manhattan College.  They finished first in a field of ten teams, eight of which stood in the way of a Celtics’ repeat (the New York Rollin’ Knicks participated, but due to their decision to become a Class 3 team, they are in a probationary year and are thus ineligible to play in title games; the Junior National Team from Canada participated as well, trouncing all of the teams they faced, but they were not eligible to play for the championship).  The Celtics proved to be the class of the event by beating all the opponents they faced, including convincing victories over the Bay State Clippers and Connecticut Spokebenders on the final day of competition.


            The Connecticut Spokebenders, the Bulova Nets, and the Bay State Clippers, who featured former Celtic and last year’s Mayor’s Cup Most Valuable Player Omar Benitez, represented the largest obstacles in the Celtics’ quest for another title.  Not surprisingly, all four teams found themselves competing in the playoffs on the final day of competition.  The Celtics bested the Clippers in the first matchup, and the Spokebenders took out the Nets in the second game, setting up a Connecticut-NEPVA final. The Spokebenders fought hard, aided in large part to the play of this year’s Mayor’s Cup MVP Josh Levine, but they ultimately fell to the Celtics, 46-27.  Though it was a well-rounded effort by the champions, Steven Davis was a stand-out performer, and was acknowledged as such by being named to the 2010 Mayor’s Cup All-Tournament team.  Despite the best efforts of All-Tournament center Steve Yedlock and star guard Paul Ward, the Bulova Nets stumbled in the second half of their Consolation game against the Clippers, missing easy shots and committing costly turnovers.  In the end, Bay State and their All-Tournament forward Omar Benitez made the Nets pay for their ill-timed errors, eking out a 52-43 win.

            For information on this and other adapted sports and events, please visit www.WheelchairSportsFederation.org.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 October 2010 05:03
34th Annual Wheelchair Softball National Championship Print E-mail
Written by Peter Quartuccio   



Nebraska Continues Their Wheelchair Softball Dominance, Winning Their 4th Consecutive Division I National Championship


FLUSHING, NY—They were challenged early and often, but the Nebraska Barons finished this past Saturday, August 21st where they have the previous 4 years: at the very top.  The Barons were among 14 teams from several states that competed in the 34th Annual National Wheelchair Softball Tournament, a 3-day event that took place at Citifield, home of the New York Mets, who also acted as one of the tournament’s major sponsors.  Nebraska’s squad was a veritable all-star team, with seven of their ten starting players (John Morse, Greg Suing, Paul Krabbenhoft, Doug Bargman, Lance Perez, Brent Rasmussen, and Matt Johnson) being named to the Division I All-Tournament team, and short fielder Johnson winning MVP honors thanks to his clutch play.  With their most recent Championship, Nebraska has solidified its status as a true dynasty in the sport, laying claim to 6 titles in the last 8 years.  While no opponent was a pushover, Nebraska’s two greatest challenges came from Chicago: the RIC Cubs from the Northern Chicago and the Midwest Flyers from the South Side.  Each proved to be worthy adversaries; the Flyers gave what ended up being Nebraska’s sole loss in the tournament, beating the Barons 11-9 in the first day of competition thanks to some late-inning heroics by the Flyers’ Jimmy Jackson.  Nebraska, however, showed the heart and grit of a true champion, bouncing back and winning their final three games—all of which were tightly played and hotly contested—including a rematch win over the Flyers and two consecutive victories against the Cubs on the final day of the tournament to win the Division I National Championship.


            In Division II, the Rolling Red Sox took home the Championship, going undefeated in the Consolation Division bracket.  Like the Barons, they too had a multitude of All-Tournament performers: George Norton, Bill Hannigan, Greg Dutram, Bill Hill, Ron Gendron, and Mac Williams were all named to the Division II All-Tournament squad.  Other Division II standouts included Eddie Jorge and Joe Mendez of the New York Mets, Pat Driver of the North Carolina Tar Wheels, and Nate Miller, Jay Baker, and Nate Hintz of the WPVA Warhawks, the latter of whom received the Division II Most Valuable Player award.  At the post-tournament banquet, several awards were distributed, including two new inductees into the National Wheelchair Softball Association Hall of Fame: Jeff Gustafson of the Courage Rolling Twins and Kurt Smith of the RIC Cubs.  Both Gustafson and Smith have had highly decorated careers, both of whom are Division I National Champions, MVP award winners, and multiple All-Tournament team selections.  Victor Calise richly deserved his George Kiefner Jr. Volunteer Award, as there was nary an activity in which he was not involved, and did everything possible to ensure that all went smoothly.

Thank you to all of the sponsors who made this terrific tournament possible, and congratulations to the Nebraska Barons and Rollin' Red Sox, and to all of the athletes. 

            For more photos  go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/48379941@N06/sets/72157624738166117/ courtesy of Carter Farmer.  

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 September 2010 18:12
Written by Administrator   




Top Wheelchair Athletes in the World to Compete on 14 Teams From Across the Country;

Many Men and Women Are Wounded Veterans, Paralympic Medalists


Citi Field is the First Major League Baseball Venue to Host the Championships;

First Time Tournament Will Be Played in New York


FLUSHING, N.Y., August 18, 2010 – The New York Mets, the Wheelchair Sports Federation, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation today announced the 34th Annual National Wheelchair Softball Tournament will take place Thursday, Friday, Saturday August 19-21 at Citi Field, marking the first time a Major League Baseball ballpark has hosted the event.


The top wheelchair athletes from around the world will compete on 14 teams from across the country.   Many of the men and women playing in the tournament are veterans who were wounded in battle, and many have competed and won medals at the Paralympics.


The Mets sponsor a Queens wheelchair softball team of their namesake, and have teamed up with the Wheelchair Sports Federation to host the Major League Baseball Wheelchair Softball tournament for the past nine years.  This year’s National Championship will mark the first time the event has been played in New York.


“We’re proud to be a part of this inspiring and historic competition, the first time the best wheelchair softball athletes in the country are competing at a Major League Baseball venue,” said Jeff Wilpon, Mets COO.  “The Mets throughout the year support wheelchair softball in New York as part of our ongoing community outreach efforts, and we salute the Wheelchair Sports Federation and United Spinal Association for their efforts in our hometown and nationally.”


“Having the best Adaptive Athletes in the United States come to New York City and compete is a great honor and we are happy to be a part of this historic event and look forward to many more." said John Hamre, President, Wheelchair Sports Federation.


Mets sponsors Pepsi, Dunkin’ Donuts, Modell’s, Subway and Wise all have donated their products to help feed and equip the more than 300 men and women participating in the tournament.  More than 50 volunteers – many from the New York City Office of Emergency Management – will donate their time to help run the event.


The Mets, Wheelchair Sports Federation and NYC Department of Parks are coordinating the tournament in conjunction with the National Wheelchair Softball Federation, and Major League Baseball.


Teams will compete for the Division I and Division II National Championship in a double-elimination tournament played in the Citi Field parking lots.  The semi-finals and finals will take place Saturday, August 21 followed by an awards banquet.  The event is free and open to the public.

The following are the teams competing for the national title:


  • Columbus Pioneers (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Confluence Center Coast Tar Wheels (Indian Trail, North Carolina)
  • Courage Rolling Twins (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota)
  • Nebraska Barons (Omaha, Nebraska)
  • Midwest Flyers (Dolton, Illinois)
  • MPVA Flamethrowers (Duluth, Minnesota)
  • Nassau Aviators (Nassau County, New York)
  • New York Mets (Flushing, New York)
  • New York Yankees (Bronx, New York)
  • RIC Cubs (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Rollin Red Sox (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Shepherd Sluggers (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (Tampa, Florida)
  • WPVA Warhawks (Waukesha, Wisconsin)

All games will take place in Citi Field parking lots F and D. Teams will play Thursday, August 19 and Friday, August 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


On Saturday, August 21, the semifinals begin at 9:00 a.m. followed by the championship game at 11:00 a.m.




#  #  #


For more information contact:

Danielle Sessa Parillo                                              John Hamre

Director, Communications                                       Wheelchair Sports Federation

New York Mets                                                       917-519-2622

(718) 565-4354                                                        This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 September 2010 18:08
<< Start < Prev 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 Next > End >>

Page 44 of 48