Birmingham, AL – Twelve athletes were selected to the 2020 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team following a team selection camp at Lakeshore Foundation Olympic & Paralympic Training Site this past week. Sixteen athletes competed for a spot on the team to represent the United States in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
“We believe that we have put together a great balance of functional athletes that will give us a chance to compete for the gold medal,” said U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Head Coach James Gumbert. “This team is one of the most driven and focused I have ever worked with and their desire to finish what they started is inspiring. During the past year many of us have experienced so many hardships and setbacks, but these elite athletes have stayed on point and continued to push each other to be the best they can be,” Gumbert added.
Gumbert says the veteran players have been pushed extremely hard by the new talent in the program. He says everyone has embraced the challenge to play to a certain standard and the team captains will lead a seasoned veteran class toward the postponed Tokyo Games.
Tokyo 2020 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team Roster
- 3.0 Chuck Aoki, Minneapolis, MN
- 0.5 Jeff Butler, Austin, TX
- 1.0 Chad Cohn, Tucson, AZ
- 2.0 Joe Delagrave, Holmen, WI
- 1.0 Lee Fredette, East Moriches, NY
- 3.5 Ray Hennagir, Deptford, NJ
- 1.0 Joe Jackson, Maricopa, AZ
- 2.0 Chuck Melton, Richview, IL
- 2.0 Eric Newby, Nashville, IL
- 3.0 Kory Puderbaugh, Boise, ID
- 1.5 Adam Scaturro, Lakewood, CO
- 2.5 Josh Wheeler, Tucson, AZ
- 2.0 Ernie Chun, Phoenix, AZ
- 2.5 Jake Daily, Belleville, IL
- 0.5 Liz Dunn, Pittsburgh, PA
- 3.5 Montrerius Hucherson, Tallassee, AL
“I want to thank each athlete for their incredible sacrifice, hard work, and commitment to their effort to represent the United States in Tokyo this summer,” said Lakeshore President Jeff Underwood. “I have watched all these players work and they have not made the coaches’ decisions easy. With this talent, the U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team looks strong. To the athletes, congratulations, good luck, and bring home the gold!”
USA Wheelchair Rugby High Performance Manager Mandy Goff said, “When the Games were postponed last March, we made a promise to each other that we would finish what we started, and we aim to do just that. Over the last 14 months we have gone through a lot together and I think that, in addition to their hard work and dedication, it’s going to be what propels us to the top of the podium,” Goff added.
The team will return to Lakeshore for two more training camps, June 10-21 and August 7-17, before leaving for Tokyo. Coach Gumbert says as much as we train and sacrifice, we are nothing without our sponsors, family and friends. Gumbert gave special thanks to Lakeshore Foundation for being its High Performance Management Organization. (HPMO).
Tokyo 2020 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team Staff
- Mandy Goff, High Performance Manager and Team Lead
- James Gumbert, Head Coach
- Sue Tucker, Assistant Coach
- Jim Murdock, ATC/Medical Coordinator
- Bob Murray, Equipment and bench staff
- Chuck French, Equipment and bench staff
- Meg Smith, Sports Psychology Provider
- Sharon Moskowitz, Strength & Conditioning
- Amy Claire McMurtrie, Dietician
- Lexi Coon, Photographer
- Jen Allred, Press Officer