The BORP Crushers and Shockers went to Indianapolis from June 16-18 to compete in the US Power Soccer Association MK Battery National Tournament. Both teams were in the Presidents Cup Conference, which is the third of the three conference competing at the tournament. The tournament organizers put the teams in different pools so that they would not play each other until possibly during the finals and I was hoping for a BORP-vs-BORP finish.
The Crushers got off to a slow start compared to their usual performance, mostly because several players on the team had had surgeries during the year that affected their ability to practice for most of the season. They came away with a win the first game but it didn’t instill the most confidence. Luckily, as the tournament went on, they improved in their individual and team play while increasing the margin of goals they won by with each game within their pool.
The Shockers played hard in each game, playing against teams in their pool that had much more experienced. They also improved with each game and played with tremendous heart, finishing the last game in pool play with a 7-0 win. At the half during the last game we were ahead 2-0 and during halftime, one of the player’s dads came over to me to let me know that there would most likely be a three-way tie in the Shocker’s pool. This meant a tie-breaker of goal differential (or most goals scored throughout the games) would break that tie. So, going into the second-half we started scoring goals two minutes in and ended up winning 7-0, giving us one goal more than the two other teams and put us in third place out of five.
Entering the quarter finals I had to decide was which BORP team to coach because the Crushers were playing in one quarter final game and the Shockers were playing in another at the same time. Because the Crushers were ranked higher, I left my trusty assistant coaches, Bill and Travis, to coach them while I coached the Shockers.
The Crushers anticipated crushing the Tidewater Piranhas but with ten minutes left to go, they were only up 1-0 and seemed to have a little bit of nerves. The other team scored a goal to tie it up which seemed to motivate the players and they went on to win 6-1.
Meanwhile the Shockers were playing the second ranked team from the other pool and were in a tight battle at halftime with the score at 1-1. The team had many opportunities to score but were not able to finish and execute to go ahead. In the second half, the NEP Wildcats had a few breakaways, making several goals to bring the score to 4-1. BORP scored a last-minute goal to make the score 4-2. Even though we lost, the team felt good about their effort but it ruined the chance of having a BORP-BORP final.
The Shockers won their next two games in heated battles and back and forth play, eventually beating the Tidewater Piranhas 4-2. The tide went out on the Piranhas playing the BORP teams and the Shockers finished in 5th place out of ten teams.
The Crushers went on to easily win their semi-final game and faced the NEP Wildcats who beat the Shockers in the final, so they were out to take BORP revenge. BORP went up 2-1 at half-time and felt good about how they were playing and eventually went on to win 4-1 with great execution on set plays by Jake Bath, who scored directly from a corner kick. And Josh Burger received a corner kick pass from Calum Cain, putting it right past the goalie in the corner of the goal.
Both teams competed hard and were extremely excited about the results. Ian Kinmont from the Shockers and Calum Cain from the Crushers were selected for the Presidents Cup all-tournament team. Because they finished first, the Crushers will now move up to the Champions Cup Conference and hope to repeat their success next year. The Shockers, gained valuable experience this year and will hopefully be able to compete for that first place trophy next year to follow in the Crushers footsteps.
Many thanks to all the sponsors and donors who supported us on our journey, especially the Challenged Athletes Foundation who supported several of the players with grants and everyone who supported and came out to the Poker Slam back in February. And big thanks to all the family and support staff for making the trip fun, exciting and memorable for all.
Calum Cain (made all tournament team)
Chris Finn – Head Coach
William Cain – Assistant Coach
Travis Bath – Assistant Coach
John Madigan – Assistant Coach
Jonathan Newman – Team Manager
Ian Kinmont (made all tournament team)
Chris Finn – Head Coach
Aleksandr Dindzans – Assistant Coach
John Madigan – Assistant Coach
Jonathan Newman – Team Manager
Congratulations to all the Power Soccer players, coaches and staff! And thank you to the families and friends who made the trip to cheer on BORP!
The weather may not make you think of heading to the beach just yet but the newly installed beach access ramp at Stinson Beach is a great reason to go. People with mobility disabilities can now get on the beach without actually getting sand in their toes, so to speak. The wooden path with a large viewing deck leads over 100 feet to the high tide line: a guardrail will be installed later this summer. Two beach wheelchairs (not self-operated) are available to loan but you must make prior arrangements to get the code to the locker where it is stored by the accessible parking spaces in the center parking lot. There is a dressing table and accessible bathrooms right by the beach access path. Other access improvements include accessible picnic tables. One table by the southern parking lot even has more than one wheelchair space.
For a great view of the beach in a partially enclosed deck head over to the snack shop at the base of the main lifeguard tower. The path up to the café is steeper than 1:12 (the ratio of a ramp that meets accessibility codes) but it is easily manageable in a motorized wheelchair; there is very limited accessible seating at the tables.
Stinson Beach opens at 9 am and closes at various times depending on the season. To reserve a beach wheelchair contact the Accessibility Program Manager at (415) 561-4958
On May 4, 2017 BORP will be participating in East Bay Gives, a 24-hour-online giving blitz celebrating the generosity of the Bay Area.
Last year, East Bay Gives successfully rallied over 8,000 donors to raise more than $1 million for non-profits like ours that make the East Bay region a special place to live, work and thrive. In 2017, East Bay Gives aims to mobilize more than 40,000 people to give $5 million to support hundreds of non-profits in the East Bay, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco.
This year BORP is hoping to raise money to support our ongoing programs providing sports and recreation opportunities for people with physical disabilities. In the last few weeks our youth sled hockey team, the Sharks, competed in their first competitive tournament. It was thrilling to watch the Sharks win game after game against bigger and faster teams from Wisconsin and Chicago to win the National Division Championship. And the team is already looking to next year’s tournament and were back on the ice for their regular practice just a few days after their victory. Will you join the #EastBayGives movement and help BORP send the Sharks sled hockey team to Chicago next year to defend their title? Here are three ways you can get involved:
We couldn’t do this work without the support of our community! Thank you for your generosity.
This weekend, USA Hockey hosted the 2017 Disabled Hockey Festival in San Jose. Over 60 teams in ten divisions competed over four days of competition. BORP’s youth team, the Sharks Sled Hockey team faced off in the Youth – C Division in their first formal competition of this kind. The kids started with a 6-1 victory over San Diego to set the tone for the tournament. Garnett Silver-Hall used his speed on both ends of the ice to control the tempo, scoring his first hat trick (3 goals) in his young career. Eyan Gilder played great in goal and only allowed a fluke goal when he tried to clear the puck and it hit his own sled and banked in.
The next game would be a bigger test for the team. The Hornets from Chicago were a huge team with a ton of speed and great hockey sense. The Sharks outworked them in the corners and took advantage of defensive breakdowns by the Hornets. Garnett started the team off with two goals in the first period, with Parker Berry adding one more before the end of the period. The Hornets came back to get a goal in the 2nd period, but could not get another one past Eyan. Jacob Ramirez got one more in the 3rd period, and Ben Thornton and Thomas played great defense to secure a 4-1 victory.
The next game would decide if the Sharks would advance to the finals. The team faced an incredibly well coached team from Wisconsin, with an very fast, disciplined team. The teams both played great defense in the first period and shut each other down. In the 2nd period, Wisconsin got on track and took a 2-0 lead before the Sharks could get on the board. Garnett was able to get one past the goalie midway through the period to cut the lead to a single goal. The Sharks continued to push the pace but could not get anything past their veteran goalie. Finally, midway through the third period Garnett was able to tie the game with an assist from Thomas Giovanola. Thomas is the smallest and youngest player on the team at only 10 years old. He had been skating his heart out and made the perfect pass up the boards to break Garnett free. During the last part of the 3rd period, the Sharks swarmed the Skeeters from Wisconsin, but the goalie would not let anything past him and the game ended in a tie, requiring a shootout. During the shootout, Eyan built a wall, stopping the first two shooters. Garnett was stopped by the Skeeter’s goalie and our 2nd shooter was up. Thomas took his time on the approach and gave the goalie time to overthink things. Thomas placed the puck perfectly in the left corner and the goalie could not reach it, giving the Sharks the lead in the shootout. In the final shot, Eyan adjusted perfectly and took the shot in the ribs to keep the puck out of the net, giving the Sharks the win and sending them to the Championship game.
The Championship game would be a rematch between the Sharks and the Chicago Hornets. A tough, well played first period left the game at 0-0. Jacob Ramirez and Ben Thornton played incredible defense, limiting and chances for the Hornets to score. Parker, Thomas and Garnett forced the action on the offensive end but their goalie played great and stopped all our chances.
In the 2nd period, Garnett took over. Using his speed to blow past the defense on the left side, Garnett curled back up in front of the net and finally put one past the goalie to get the Sharks the lead. Off the face off, Garnett got the puck to Parker and attacked the left side again. Parker made a perfect pass to get the puck back up to Garnett and he blew past the defense again and got his 2nd goal of the period. Garnett added one more goal in the 2nd to get his 2nd hat trick of the tournament off another assist from Parker.
Jacob, Ben, and Eyan shut down the defensive end of the ice and Thomas made some great plays on both ends of the ice.
With this victory, the Sharks Sled Hockey team secured the 2017 USA Hockey, Disabled Hockey Festival Youth C Division National Champion title.
Congratulations to Garnett Silver-Hall, Thomas Giovanola, Parker Berry, Jacob Ramirez, Ben Thornton, and Eyan (the wall) Gilder for an amazing weekend. Thanks to all the parents that helped with all the gear, shuffling kids, and more.
What an incredible week for the Jr. Road Warriors at the National Tournament in Louisville, KY.
The Jr. Road Warriors entered the tournament ranked #8 in the country and riding a 9-game winning streak. The team faced a tough team from Chicago to start the tournament and the kids were excited to get things rolling. After a dominating first half by the Jr. Road Warriors, the Chicago Hawks made their run to close the gap to just 2 points with seconds left. A tough defensive stand forced a bad shot and the Jr. Road Warriors were able to hang on for the 40-38 win and advanced to the next round.
In the round of eight teams, the Jr. Road Warriors would face the #1 ranked Dallas Jr. Mavericks. Dallas had come into the the tournament 31-0 and were the favorite to take home the title. The Jr. Road Warriors played an incredible first half, holding Dallas to just 24 points. Unfortunately they only scored 14. In the 2nd half, Dallas found their form and turnovers stalled any momentum we could start and Dallas capitalized on our mistakes. Dallas went on to defeat the Jr. Road Warriors 54-29.
The loss dropped the team down into the placement bracket (In the NWBA, the team’s play out the tournament to determine final placing which determines final season rankings). This matched the team up against the Houston Hotwheels, ranked #5 coming into the tournament. Again, the Jr. Road Warriors played well in the first half, but turnovers continued to plague the team and the Hotwheels were able to take a lead at half. With under five minutes left in the game, and the Jr. Road Warriors down by 17, the show began. Jacob Ramirez hit four 3-point shots in a row and cut the lead to 7 points (the Hotwheels scored a basket during this run). Unfortunately, there was not enough time and the Jr. Road warriors lost by nine, 55-46.
This put the Jr. Road Warriors in their final game of the tournament, playing for 7th place. Since they came into the tournament ranked #8, there was no pressure on the team at all. Their opponent, the RHI Racers, came into the tournament ranked #6 and they were a much bigger, faster team. The Jr. Road Warriors were unfazed during the game and played an incredible team game. Isaiah Ahlstrom, one of the team’s leading scorers during the regular season, entered the game having scored only 4 points total in the previous three games. He found a way to take the lid off the bucket and finally had his normal type of game. When the Racers pressed, Ben Thornton and Jacob Ramirez benefitted from perfect picks set by Ella Rodriguez, Garnett Silver-Hall, and Stephen Christian. The bench offered tons of energy and Daniel Diana, Matthew Hatae, Eyan Gilder, and Avery Dauer all came in and played great defense and set the picks to get their teammates free. Their composure in the 2nd half was amazing and Jacob and Stephen ran the pick & roll to perfection. The Jr. Road Warriors held on to win 54-42 and secure the #7 spot for the end of season rankings.
This was an incredible tournament and marks the end to a career for one of BORP’s favorite athletes. Matthew Hatae has been the Co-Captain of the Jr. Road Warriors for the last two years. He did not earn that responsibility by making baskets. As a matter of fact, he rarely shoots the ball, and when he does you never know where it is going (or if you will even be able to find the ball). What he does is simply, work. He constantly is put in a position to try and get his teammates open. He sets picks, plays defense, and gets very little attention for his efforts on the court. He is the ultimate teammate to the rest of the team and has been a perfect pick as Captain.
This year Matthew will graduate high school and move on to bigger things. It has been great being able to coach him for the past eight years.
The absolute best moment of the tournament came with only seconds left on the clock. Matthew, sat behind a screen set by Ella on the left side of the key. Jacob dropped a cross-court pass to him and Matthew banked in his last (and only) shot, in his last National Tournament with the Jr. Road Warriors. You could not have imagined the excitement his teammates had for him, and it was the perfect end to an incredible career for Matthew. Holding true to form, Matthew let me know that he should have been shooting more since he shot 100% for the tournament…
The kids had a blast at the banquet and danced through the evening. To top things off, Jacob was named to the 2nd team All-Tournament Team and Matthew received an All-American Academic Honorable Mention Award.
Congratulations to all the kids that played this year, and thanks to all the families that made this season spectacular.