Three days of intense competition ended on Sunday at the USABA Goalball National Championships with the New Jersey Honeybees successfully defending their title in the women’s division and the Manticores winning the men’s division. The Atlanta Wolves took the top spot in the men’s B division at the Turnstone Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The New Jersey Honeybees won in decisive fashion with a 15-5 victory over the Maryland Minks in the women’s final. The Honeybees were comprised of Lisa Czechowski, Amanda Dennis, Jameisha Murrell, Jasmine Murrell, Shelley Palmadessa and Jennia Tiberi. The Honeybees were coached by Dan Palmadessa. On the silver-medal-winning Maryland Minks were Tori Bounds, Bridget Cassidy, Shavon Lockhardt and Breanna Pumphrey.
In the women’s bronze-medal contest, the Atlanta Blazers defeated the Sirens, 9-4. The Blazers’ roster included Kassandra Hernandez, Ali Lawson, Ellashae Maddox and Asya Miller.
The Manticores ran the tables over the three-day event, capping off their undefeated tournament with an 11-4 victory over the Texas Rattlesnakes in the men’s final. Zach Buhler, Jordan Main and Josh Welborn made up the gold-medal-winning Manticores. Likewise, the Texas Rattlesnakes reached the final with a three-man roster made up of Jim Debus, Christian King and Will Lopez.
In an exciting bronze-medal match, the King Cobras pulled away late from the New York Empire to secure an 11-7 victory. The Cobras were comprised of Richard Ah-Siu, Dylan Pleasants, Nathan Purcell, Antonio Rozier and Daryl Walker. Jahron Black, Lamar Brown, Tiasheem Brown, Devin Bullock and Manuel Puma made up the New York Empire roster.
The men’s B division final saw the Atlanta Wolves engineer a come-from-behind 8-4 win over the Killer Cobras. The Wolves were made up of Rasheed Manson, Kendall Newson, Kaijain Sheppard and Felix Walker. The silver-medal-winning Killer Cobras had a roster made up of Junior Ah-Siu, Alexander Atlantic, Lukas Barfield, Jacob Kamaunu and Adam Young.
At the conclusion of the tournament, each team voted for the most valuable player in the men’s and women’s divisions. Garnering the most votes in the men’s division and earning the Tom Parrigin MVP Award was Josh Welborn of the champion Manticores. In the women’s division, Karen Zabel of the Sirens received the Sharon Gunderman MVP Award. Parrigin and Gunderman were longtime contributors to goalball in the U.S. whose legacies live on through these annual awards recognizing excellent play at the USABA National Goalball Championships.
The final award presented was the Cody Carmicle Spirit of the Game Award, named in honor of USA Men’s National Goalball Team athlete Cody Carmicle who passed away in 2021 after a courageous battle with cancer. The award exemplifies all Cody embodied and is voted on by the competing teams. It is presented to a player who displays dedication, commitment to excellence and love of the game. The 2023 recipient was Will Lopez, a member of the silver-medal-winning Texas Rattlesnakes.
Full results from the 2023 USABA National Goalball Championships can be found on Goalball Scoreboard.