Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association last week announced the team of the month for March is the SportAbility of Iowa Rolling Panthers.
The Panthers defeated the RHI Racers 38-22, the DASA Rolling Rams 51-37 and the Nebraska Red Dawgs 52-30 Saturday to keep their record unblemished at 10-0.
The games were part of the Iowa Capital Classic at MVP Sports in Des Moines where teams from Ohio, Kansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Missouri competed.
Sunday saw the first blemish on the Panthers record, falling to the WASA Bucks 41-31. The Panthers recovered to defeat the Mad City Badgers 38-27 and defeated the Red Dawgs a second time 46-36.
The Rolling Panthers now have a 15-1 record and are two games ahead of second place, the Cincinnati Dragons. They practice once a week on Saturday afternoons but rarely have all players present due to the traveling distance. Several players travel two hours one way to practice and two players from Minnesota travel three hours one way.
Parents and players are truly dedicated and many of the players have dreams and goals of playing at the next level.
One of those is Jayden Stafford, an eighth-grader at Mid-Prairie.
Iowa's only wheelchair basketball team is currently ranked first in the nation, the third time in the last four years the Rolling Panthers received a national ranking.
Last year because of COVID-19, the national tournament was canceled. The hope is to go this year in June to Wichita, Kan.