RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Aug. 14, 2007)
- The U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball team has been anxiously awaiting actual competition since arriving in Rio de Janeiro on Friday (Aug. 10). The team had its final practice today and will finally take to the court tomorrow against Canada.
After playing the waiting game for almost a week, Head Coach Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.) was pleased with the final practice.
"We had really good intensity today," said Hamiter. "The guys responded well - there was a lot of unity and the guys seem ready to play."
With Opening Ceremony scheduled on Sunday (Aug. 12), most of the competitions began the following day. Team Captain Brent Rasmussen (Omaha, Neb.) said that the extra practices and scrimmages were allowing them to work out some of their nervousness.
"It was helpful that we were one of the last U.S. teams to arrive," said Rasmussen. "It has been difficult seeing everyone else competing, but the extra days have helped. We have had success with scrimmages against Canada and Costa Rica also, so we are ready to play."
Although this is Canada's first international competition, several athletes have played previously on standing teams. The U.S. will also have to contend with 7 foot, 2 inch Greg Stewart, who was a standout on the standing team.
"We can't overlook a big hitter like Greg," said Hamiter. "It should be a good competition."
The U.S. and Canada play at 11 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday, Aug.15 at Riocentro Convention Center Pavilion 3B.
2007 U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball Parapan Am Games Roster
No. Name Position Current Residence
1 Matt Johnson L Lincoln, Neb.
3 Curtis Lease MH Naperville, Ill.
4 Hugo Storer OH Houston, Texas
5 Eric Duda OH/MH Edmond, Okla.
7 Bradley Johnson MH Pompano Beach, Fla.
8 James Stuck O/MH Edmond, Okla.
9 Roderick Green OH/MH Edmond, Okla.
10 Edgar LaForest OH San Juan, Puerto Rico
12 Brent Rasmussen OH Omaha, Neb.
13 Josh Franklin OH Tomball, Texas
14 Jose Zabala S/H Carolina, Puerto Rico
15 Chris Seilkop S/H Deland, Fla.
Head Coach: Bill Hamiter (Bethany, Okla.)
Assistant Coach/Team Leader: Dixie Collins (Marshall, Virg.)
Assistant Coach: Edgar Miraku (Edmond, Okla.)
U.S. Men's Sitting Volleyball Parapan Am Games Schedule (all times local)
Aug. 15: USA vs. Canada
Aug. 16: USA vs. Costa Rico
Aug. 17: USA vs. Brazil
Aug. 18, 9 a.m. Semifinal: First vs. Fourth
Aug. 18, 11 a.m. Semifinal: Second vs. Third
Aug. 19, 9 a.m. Bronze Medal Match
Aug. 19, 11 a.m. Gold Medal Match