Brooks Bandits Bring Home Division II National Championship Title!

Culture

by Alex | Apr 25, 2016

Brooks Bandits

Three years ago, adaptive rugby coach Steve Kenny had one goal for the Brooks Bandits: to qualify for nationals. With hard work and commitment, they met that goal. They qualified for nationals…then lost every game.

Last year they made it again and they actually won a game. It was a step in the right direction, the team was thrilled.

This year when the Bandits once again qualified for the national championship, their goal was to place. Coach Kenny chose the seven players that he thought would give them the best shot as they headed to Houston, Texas for the three-day tournament. The team included Cody Kingsland, Ronnie Adams, JB Seiner, Josh O’Neill, Steven Walker, Joe Snyder, and alternate Don Bergman.

When they arrived in Houston, they were excited but realistic. They started out with a bang, winning both games on Friday night. Then the Bandits suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss in their first game on Saturday. They lost by a single point. But they weren’t discouraged. They rallied for a win in their second game, giving them a 3:1 record solidifying their place on the podium.

Three years ago, they barely qualified for nationals and now they were guaranteed first or second place.

With one game left to determine who would take home the 1st place trophy coach Kenny told them, “go out there and have fun.”

Bandits ScoreAs the game was coming to a close, Coach Kenny called a timeout and sent in veteran player Don Bergman. This year he came to Nationals as an alternate.  But Coach Kenny wanted to honor his years of hard work and dedication.  He wanted Don to be on the court for those final few minutes when the Bandits won their first ever National Championship game 54-43.

Players JB Seiner and Steven Walker celebrated individual victories as well, both were named All-Star in their player classification.

“We went in as the underdog with nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Coach Kenny. “Our team got hot at just the right times and years of hard work finally paid off.”

The team was greeted at Jacksonville International Airport around midnight last night by family, friends, champagne, and balloons.

Alice Krauss, Manager of the Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program, said “I could not possibly be more excited for this team.  They have scrambled for 10 years to get to this level. They worked so hard with dedication, consistency, perseverance, passion and love for each other. I am so very proud of them.”

The Brook Bandits are a competitive Quad Rugby team sponsored by Brooks Rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in quad rugby or want to know more about other adaptive sports and recreation programs we provide, click here

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