• Newsletters
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
°
Sunday, May 28, 2017
View complete forecast
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Turnstone players anxious to try new chairs in competition

David Downling, 13, tries out his new power soccer chair during a recent practice at Turnstone. (Photo by Blake Sebring of The News-Sentinel)
David Downling, 13, tries out his new power soccer chair during a recent practice at Turnstone. (Photo by Blake Sebring of The News-Sentinel)

More Information

Up next

Summit City Showdown Invitational
At Turnstone
Play starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues until 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Flyers are hosting big power soccer tournament

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12:01 am
Imagine how hockey changed when players switched to curved sticks, or how auto racing changed with the advent of turbine engines. That's how the members of the Turnstone Flyers power soccer team feel now that they are acquiring new Strike Force wheelchairs.These chairs are lighter, faster and quicker to react to directions, and they can belt the ball harder.

"The turning radius is faster, which allows you to hit the ball faster. It's longer and takes up more room, and you can put a weight on the back, which gives you more leverage so you can push against other people," said Luke Labas, 18, and a seven-year member of the team. "It's challenging because the speed of the game has picked up and it takes some time to get used to. "

Turnstone has always had some of the nation's best power soccer teams, but the Flyers were at a competitive disadvantage recently with the old chairs. The new chairs, designed by power soccer players, have a lower center of gravity, and the reaction from joystick to tires is half a second faster than the old chairs. Imagine a sprinter getting a legal false start on every move.

"It's a lot faster, and you just can't compete without it,'' said David Dowling, 13 and a four-year member of the team. "You get a really big adrenalin rush."

Dowling got his new chair last week, becoming the fifth player on one of Turnstone's three teams to use the equipment. The organization is asking for donations to buy more chairs.

There are four players to a side in power soccer, and there are 15-18 players on Turnstone's three teams. The new chairs cost around $7,500. Turnstone's top team is ranked No. 9 nationally, and the second team is ranked 19th.

The forward speed is limited and monitored in power soccer, so the start time is everything. The Circle City Rollers of Indianapolis were the No. 1-ranked squad in the country last year and hadn't lost in several seasons before facing the Minnesota Magic for the national championship. Utilizing the new chairs, the Minnesota team dominated, and everyone has been trying to catch up since.

"Everything is about reaction time,'' said Flyers coach Jim Labas, Luke's dad. "It's the acceleration and the turning speed, the quickness in the way it reacts to every single touch of the joystick. Even the better players can only make that chair turn so fast and react so fast no matter how we have them set, and with these the reaction time is so much quicker.''

They'll get a big test this weekend at the Summit City Showdown Invitational. All eight participating teams are ranked, including No. 1 Minnesota Magic and No. 2 Circle City Rollers out of Indianapolis. Play starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues until 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Now the Flyers will be able to really fly.

"It puts us on an even playing field with all the top teams, and that's the most exciting part,'' Dowling said. "Now we'll have the same equipment.''

More Information

Up next

Summit City Showdown Invitational
At Turnstone
Play starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues until 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Comments

News-Sentinel.com reserves the right to remove any content appearing on its website. Our policy will be to remove postings that constitute profanity, obscenity, libel, spam, invasion of privacy, impersonation of another, or attacks on racial, ethnic or other groups. For more information, see our user rules page.
comments powered by Disqus