Last weekend, Sam Fallon, a rising junior at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School and a host of fellow lacrosse players hosted free wheelchair lacrosse clinics at The Cooler, in Alpharetta.
Fallon, an Eagle Scout, was doing his final project for scouts when his curiosity was piqued.
“I was taking a tour of the Shepherd Center and, while walking around the track, I saw all the banners from all the sports,” Fallon said. “I didn’t, however, see one for wheelchair lacrosse.”
Fallon then went to work. “I went on-line and found some great contacts and went from there,” he continued.
The Holy Innocents’ ace met Ryan Baker and Bill Lundstrom – the two founders of Wheelchair Lacrosse, USA – and the idea and the free clinics event was born. Baker and Lundstrom coached the event.
Sam extended invitations to all wheelchair athletes, including Georgia High School wheelchair athletes, Wounded Warriors from all branches of the military, patients at Shepherd Center and members of Blaze Sports. He also contacted the U.S. Naval Academy and West Point for support and marketing of the event.
Fallon’s lead volunteer was classmate Owen Penn – also a lacrosse teammate at HI. Fallon and Penn traveled the east coast together over the summer months competing. Owen recruited volunteers and sponsors for last weekend’s event.
Other HI students who volunteered at the event were; Reed Smith, Patrick Shelton, Jack Barton, Parker Robinson, EJ Thurmond, and Breck DeHart. Other teens from the community and many adults showed up to help just because they love the sport.
"There was a great turnout for the adaptive clinic" said Matt Edens, Shepherd Center sports teams coordinator. "It gave individuals the opportunity to participate in a new sport. This supports Shepherd Center's mission by creating new experiences and having people return to activities they may have enjoyed before injury."