Strong debut for USA Wheelchair Rugby
TORONTO, Canada – The U.S. began its’ round robin preliminary play with a 70-25 win today over Argentina at the Mississauga Centre as wheelchair rugby made its highly anticipated debut at the 2015 Toronto Parapan Am Games.
After a quick score from Eric Newby at the tip off, the U.S. squad never looked back up 36-12 at the conclusion of the first half. Coach Gumbert ran line ups with a mix of veteran Paralympic athletes and new talent all of whom excelled throughout the game. “The team really came out and executed our game plan perfectly, said Coach James Gumbert. We had a lot of contributions from our young kids, to be on the big stage and start the first game, a little bit of jitters but they answered the call and its sets the stage for a good week.”
The second half was much like the first with hard hits from the U.S. sealing a 70-25 victory over Argentina. “I’m proud of our team, said USA’s # 8, Ernie Chun. We stayed focused, played our game and stuck with what we know.”
Top scorers for the U.S. were Eric Newby (Maryland Heights, MO) with 16 and Joe Delagrave (Phoenix, AZ) and Clayton Brackett (Birmingham, AL) each with 11.
The Parapan American Games serve as qualifier for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, with the top finisher in wheelchair rugby securing a spot. Round robin competition will continue Sunday in Toronto as the U.S. faces Brazil at 9:30 p.m. EST. Games continue throughout the week with semi-final and final games being held on Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14. Wheelchair rugby is being live streamed at these Games, check out http://www.paralympic.org/live-sport to catch the action each day.