Wolverines open season in type – LaGrange Day by day Information

BY KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

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The West Georgia Wolverines have a new home and want to continue their triumphant advance.

The Wolverines’ home base has been Warm Springs for years, and they have consistently been among the best wheelchair basketball teams in the state.

Last year, the Wolverines moved to LaGrange High and opened their season on Saturday with two home players

Play against the Houston County Sharks.

After winning their first game 34-10, the Wolverines ended a perfect day with a 33-2 win.

Jacob Roche is the Wolverines’ head coach and he is proud of the progress the players have made since training began last fall.

“The progress they made when we started training goes through the roof,” said Roche, who was the assistant coach of the soccer team that went 8-4 last season. “They come together completely. They are playing comfortably in the chair and their skills have really improved. “

The driving force that brought the team to Troup County was LaGrange graduate Logan Wegienka, who served as team captain for the Wolverines in Warm Springs.

When the Wolverines needed a new home, Wegienka met up with Mike Pauley, the athletics director of LaGrange High, and it all went well.

The next step was to find someone to coach the team and Pauley recruited Roche for the job.

“I was taken to coach football and coach Pauley asked me if I would be interested in helping and I said sure,” said Roche. “I’ve always wanted to give children the opportunity to play. All children want to be competitive and play sports, and that gives these children the opportunity to do so. “

The team trains on Tuesdays and Thursdays and for some players who don’t normally use wheelchairs this was an adjustment.

“A lot of people can pick up a basketball and shoot it, but if you do it from a chair it’s a whole different game,” said Roche. “You have to get used to how to play basketball, how to maneuver and how to be a competitive athlete in a chair.”

If Saturday were any indication, great things could be ahead of the Wolverines.

At the top of the standings was Junior Abby Simmons, one of the team’s veterans, and another key player is Mason McCartney, a senior at Troup High. Other players on the team include Bailey McCartney, eighth grader from Long Cane Middle School, Jackson Ward, sixth grader from Callaway Middle School, and Gavin Pijnenburg, fifth grader from Rosemont Elementary School.

Roche appreciated the support these players received during Saturday’s games at LaGrange High.

“We had a lot of support, not only the parents of the children, but also other people were here to cheer them on,” said Roche. “That was really a big deal to see.”

Roche is also grateful for the help he received from assistant coach Scott Cochran and from Kristy Prater, the team’s coordinator.

Prater takes care of the team’s logistics so that Roche can concentrate exclusively on coaching.

“I always tell her that she’s the (managing director) and I’m the head coach,” said Roche. “It puts it all together and I train the team.”

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