|Posted by Eric Ingram on November 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM|
Sorry for the delayed post on this, but I am happy to announce that I have been selected to be on the 2013-2015 Team Force. This team serves as the developmental farm team for Team USA Wheelchair Rugby.
It was a tough tryout that saw all of us working as hard as we possibly could. The first day I felt was the hardest. In the morning we worked on our timed and skill drills. These included full court sprints, chair skills (like weaving through cones as fast as possible) and passing drills that measured our accuracy. I can safely say that we all left this session exhausted and concerned about where we stood in comparison to each other. The second session was the start of our scrimmaging and “meat grinders” (Meat grinders features three teams of four on the court at one time, the team with the ball goes against one team and they play the point out on half of the court. Once the point is scored [or there's a turnover] the team in possession of the ball then plays against the third team on their half of the court, and this goes back and forth.). Everyone seemed a bit rusty, and it took a little while to get groups running smoothly. After this we had dinner, where I'm sure I ate more than I ate the previous 2 weeks. The third and final session of the day was similar to the second, with scrimmaging and meat grinders, for several hours until we were all sufficiently worn out.
On day 2, everyone was feeling the effects of the previous day, but we also had intense focus on what needed to be done. As the day progressed and we went through our three sessions, the ranks slowly began to thin as one-by-one, players were given the unfortunate news. The end of the day was more somber than the first, but those of us left felt the excitement of being closer to the final decision the very next day.
Saturday, the 3rd and final day of the tryout, featured only one session. You could tell the selection committee was incredibly focused on choosing the right squad, and those on the fence saw a great deal of playing time. Everyone fought as hard as they could, because they knew what lay ahead right after the session. Quicker than many had hoped, the first, and last session of the day was complete. All we had to do now was wait for the selection committee to make the official announcement.
In about a half hour, they called the group into the conference room. It was amazingly quiet, we all had nervous anticipation as the coaching staff began to talk. I'm sure I was not the only one holding my breath as they began calling out those who made the team in alphabetic order:
2.0 - Ronnie Adams, Brooks Bandits
3.0 - Clayton Brackett, Lakeshore Demolition
2.0 - Cj Brown, Texas Stampede
1.5 - Kevin Crombie, Indy Brawlers
1.0 - Lee Fredette, NY Warriors
1.0 - Nate Harmon, Shepherd Smash
2.0 - Eric Ingram, TIRR Texans
2.0 - Talbot Kennedy, Shepherd Smash
2.5 - Cody Kingsland, Brooks Bandits
3.0 - Ryan Kress, Tampa Generals
1.5 - Josh O’Neill, Brooks Bandits
2.5 - Brandon Summerville, Indy Brawlers
as well as the alternates:
3.0 - Mason Symons, Texas Stampede
2.0 - Joe Testaverde, NY Warriors
1.0 - Tim Vixay, Las Vegas Renegades
Picture of the team at the announcement. From the USQRA.
(As you can see, one of my new teammates is actually an old one. Kevin and I were two of the founding members of our old team, the East Coast Cripplers, back in Virginia. He and I played together for 6 years and it will be exciting to be able to compete with him again.)
I'm proud to have made the team and to be able to represent the country and be able to help keep the US in the number one spot. Congratulations to my new fellow teammates, I'm sure it will be a great two years and an amazing opportunity to build ourselves up as individual athletes and as a team.
Our first training camp is only a few weeks away back at the Lakeshore campus in Birmingham, Al.
Until next time,