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Henry County Wheelchair Basketball Team Wins State JV Championship

Henry County Wheelchair Basketball Team 
Wins State JV Championship
Members of the Henry Hurricanes after their win over the Gwinnett Heat in the AAASP State JV Wheelchair Basketball Championship.

Congratulations to the Henry Hurricanes for winning the 2013 AAASP State JV Wheelchair Basketball Championship. The Hurricanes won the championship game against the home team, Gwinnett Heat, by a score of 22-6 to finish their season with an undefeated record of 7-0. The championship tournament was held on March 2 at Duluth High School.

This incredible accomplishment follows the Hurricanes undefeated season in Wheelchair Handball just a few months ago, where they won the 2012/2013 AAASP State Junior Varsity Wheelchair Handball championship title. The wheelchair basketball victory now gives the Henry Hurricanes three state Championship titles in basketball, including the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

According to Harlon Matthews, coach and area coordinator, wheelchair football is the only title that the Hurricanes have left to achieve, but the momentum they are carrying into the 2013 football season is very promising.

The Henry Hurricanes is a Henry County Schools interscholastic wheelchair sports team in partnership with Henry County Parks and Recreation Wheelchair Sports. The team is comprised of nine physically impaired students who are recruited from several Henry County schools, with two coming from Griffin. Eligibility for the team includes any physical limitation that prevents the student from participating on “main stream” school-based teams. The team is not only made up of manual and power chair wheelchair users, but also includes students who use mobility aides like walkers, canes, crutches or no mobility aides at all.

“Using a sports wheelchair makes competing in sports a million times easier than trying to play using your legs,” said Matthews, who has a disability and can walk short distances with a cane.

“Using a sports wheelchair allows all of us to move quicker and with less strain on our legs and back,” explained Chris Vernon, coach of the Hurricanes and teacher at Woodland Middle School.

Both coaches have a passion for teaching wheelchair sports to the students and know first-hand how sports has helped them come to terms with who they are and what they can do.

The Henry Hurricanes are always looking to recruit new players. Please feel free to contact Matthews at hmatthews@co.henry.ga.us or Vernon at cvernon@henry.k12.ga.us to setup a meet and greet with the student and their parents.

For more information on the Henry County Parks and Recreation Department and all of its programs, log on to www.hcprd.org.

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