Students go for gold during AAAS competition
Published 7:29 pm Friday, December 29, 2017
When Troup County students Mason McCartney, a freshman at Troup High, and Logan Wegienka, a sophomore at LaGrange High, joined the Handball Wheelchair team, they were looking to win. The students, even though they are rivals because one is a Tiger and one is a Granger, came together for the win.
And that is exactly what they did when they joined the West Georgia Wolverines and vied for the state championship in handball.
McCartney, a member of the Troup High Air Force JROTC and a tenor sax player in the school’s band said, “I am glad I was provided the opportunity to play a challenging sport that would be more difficult with my disability. I have only been playing for less than a year so it was fun to win my first year out.” He credits his uncle, who sponsors the team, for influencing him to play the game.
Wegienka, a veteran player of adapted sports such as basketball and football, loves that he can still enjoy sports after being involved in an accident as a five-year-old. He says it caused him to have a spinal injury but didn’t cause him to miss out on his ability to compete in sports.
“A car accident was not enough to stop me,” Wegienka said. Playing sports makes me feel like any normal teenage boy. I feel like everyone else — like I belong and have a place on the team.”
Both young men say programs like the American Association of Adapted Sports, an athletic association that governs and sanctions disabled sports in schools, and teams like the Wolverines allow them the opportunity to do what they love despite their health challenges.
“It’s amazing that we have a program like this in our community. Many people may not know about it, but it does exist, and it helps all people to have a place to play sports,” Wegienka said.
Troup County School System is an accredited educational system with over 11,900 students in grades K-12. TCSS does offer a free Pre-K program at each elementary school. The system is comprised of eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, one college and career academy, and one alternative learning center. Students within the school system are taught a rigorous and relevant curriculum that helps them make college and career choices beyond graduation and succeed in life. To learn more about Troup County School System, visit troup.org and the Troup County School System Facebook page.