Wheelchair Basketball team opts out of upcoming season

Cory Michalec, Staff Writer

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Tallmadge Wheelchair Basketball team has decided to not participate in the 2021 season. This would have been their fourth year playing, coming off a record of 13-4 from last season. 

“We had discussions with parents, our school administration and the director of ASPO and at this time we felt it was in the best interest of our student athletes as well as all those involved with the program that we forego this season until the current pandemic has subsided,” Head Coach Tom Linder said. 

Linder said this decision was not an easy one and was made for a couple of different reasons. The first reason is the safety of everyone involved especially since many of the athletes are at a higher risk than most from the virus. The other reason is that one school has already made the decision to opt out with another in the process of making that same decision. This would limit who the team would be able to play. 

 “Some of our athletes are more vulnerable than others and we just don’t feel confident putting them in a situation that may compromise their health,” Linder said.

The team will try to hit the hardwood in the spring to get everyone playing ball again and hopefully recruit some new players, too, Linder said.

 Athletic Director Tim Mosher recently sent a letter to the families affected by this decision.

“It is our intent to return our wheelchair athletes to the gym in the months of April and May if conditions have improved by that time. We plan to conduct open gyms for our athletes to practice and hopefully scrimmage other teams if possible,” the letter stated. “Furthermore, our open gyms will give us the opportunity to recruit some new players to the program which we have not been able to do since the beginning of the pandemic.” 

Those affected understand that this is the right decision but are still upset about not being able to play this year. 

Freshman Emma Allen said, “I understand that there are not enough players willing to play this season and that some kids are more susceptible to the virus than others. I really wish there was a season and I miss wheelchair basketball but I understand why we are unable to have a season, “ freshman Emma Allen said. 

NOTE: The following video describes Tallmadge’s Wheelchair Basketball: https://youtu.be/8dehiph86io