News & Events

Shepherd Smash

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By Matt Edens  
       The Shepherd Smash started our season out in early September like we do every year. We proceeded with a coaches and volunteer meeting followed by a team meeting. However, this year started out not quite like the past several years. This year the gym was packed with several new faces. A total of seven new athletes to the Smash family. Of those seven, five have never played Quad Rugby, and of those five, three were former Shepherd patients, and of those three, one had been discharged in June and one was still a Day Program patient at Shepherd. The other two new to the sport came by us through Shepherd athletes going out into the community to do speaking engagements and demos. The two who had played before, one returned from college and one moved to Atlanta.
       Josh Branch was one of the athletes who came to us via a Shepherd patient. Josh was introduced to Quad Rugby as a patient, and right away he knew this was something he was going to enjoy. Josh states, “Rugby gave me something to look forward to while I was a patient.”  
       This year Shepherd hosted the Atlantic South Regional on February 18-20th. This was Josh’s first experience of playing a tournament with a large home crowd, which included a packed gym full of family, friends, community members, Shepherd patients and staff. Josh said, “It was exciting to play in front of my Shepherd family, and I can’t wait to hit the court again”.
       The tournament was a huge success, with great games from top to bottom. The TIRR Texans and the Tampa Generals came in as the favorites to take top honors. Both teams played great games all weekend, but the Tampa Generals defeated the TIRR Texans Sunday morning to lock up first play. The top four teams advanced (Tampa Generals, TIRR Texans, Shepherd Smash and Raleigh Sidewinders) to Atlantic Sectionals. Congrats to all teams!

 

 

 

March 1, 2011 — 7:20pm