Both boy’s and girl’s USA elite junior goalball teams earned medals last week at the 2015 World Youth Goalball Championships in Colorado Springs. The USA boys team took home bronze, behind Sweden and Germany, while the USA girls took home silver, behind Canada.
Eleven teams from seven countries met for the tournament that took place July 27-31. Each of the teams showed excellent sportsmanship and competitive spirit from the first game.
Though the boys faced tough competition in their first game against Germany, they rose to the occasion and fought to win three of the four next games leading up to semifinals.
The girls remained undefeated after three days of pool play competition. In the semifinals, the USA girls beat China to play against Canada in the gold medal game. It was a close game and tied 3-3 with 7 seconds left in the game when Canada scored to win gold.
Both USA junior elite teams showed enthusiasm and executed superior teamwork throughout the entire tournament.
For many athletes, this event was their first experience competing in an international tournament. This was the case for USA Boys team member, Terrell Allen.
“We discovered Terrell at a goalball camp in Baltimore earlier this year,” said USA Boys Head Coach, Matthew Boyle. “He is raw talent and had an incredible sense of hearing. We are looking forward to working with him and helping him develop as a goalball athlete.”
Four of the six girls were competing in their first international tournament – Brittany Richardson, Kimberly Lora, Mariah O’Connor and Ella Donaghey.
“They did great,” said six-time Paralympian and USA Girls Head Coach, Jen Armbruster. “I was very impressed with everyone’s composure and maturity going into and during the games. For a team that has not gotten to play together with the exception of a couple of days they really all worked together as one solid unit. I’m personally excited to see what they do now, hoping they will continue to work hard on and off the court.”
The tournament proved we have some up and coming junior elite goalball athletes ready to follow in the footsteps of Men’s and Women’s National Team players should the opportunity arise.