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The Capital (Annapolis, MD)
Good vibrations were on full display at Archbishop Spalding High School on Saturday afternoon during the fourth annual Adaptive Lacrosse game.
Adaptive Lacrosse, based in Davidsonville and operated by Paul and Nina Marcellino, gives developmentally and physically disabled athletes the chance to be in the spotlight and play the nation's native sport.
Players, ranging from age 8 to 52, suited up in helmets and pads to compete in a seven-on-seven game with the help of field director Mike McGeeney and goalies provided by Spalding's girls lacrosse program.
"Instead of being on the sidelines and cheering someone else on, these kids and adults get the chance to be in the action and have others cheer them on for a change," McGeeney said.
McGeeney is also an assistant coach for Spalding's boys varsity squad and he has been involved with Adaptive Lacrosse for four years. Spalding athletes earn community service credits for the help they provide to Adaptive Lacrosse.
The program was in no shortage of help and support on Saturday. Student-athletes from the boys and girls lacrosse programs at Spalding were on the sidelines with colorful signs cheering on the Adaptive Lacrosse athletes.
"Adaptive Lacrosse athletes are given the equipment and facilities needed to play," Paul Marcellino said, ''because of the contributions made by the Davidsonville Athletic Association and volunteer student-athletes from public and private schools across Anne Arundel County.''
A few Spalding varsity athletes assisted those on the field with the help of the energetic McGeeney and all who were there made a tunnel for the adaptive athletes as they ran out onto the field with the loudspeaker echoing their names.
Some of those wearing the AD Lacrosse jerseys had just finished competing at the Naval Academy pool in the Special Olympics.
Zach Adams, 8, scored two goals in the game. "I've played for three years," Zach, who has Downs Syndrome, exclaimed after the game.
He plans on playing for the rest of his life.
The Spalding girls lacrosse program had an inner-squad scrimmage before the Adaptive Lacrosse game and the boys scrimmaged each other afterwards playing with girls sticks, coached by the girls. All was done in the good spirit of Adaptive Lacrosse: giving everyone the chance to play.