The Wisconsin Warriors are back in action after a long break due to COVID-19
The Wisconsin Warriors, a high-level wheelchair power soccer team based out of Madison, competes in the second-highest division in American power soccer.
To really understand wheelchair soccer, you have to see it in action, says William Schultz.
Athletes use power wheelchairs equipped with U-shaped bars that enclose the front of the chair to allow for dribbling, passing, blocking and other soccer moves.
Schultz is coach of the Wisconsin Warriors, a high-level wheelchair power soccer team based out of Madison that currently competes in the second-highest division in American power soccer. Tyler Engel, one of the team’s best players, has been playing since high school.
“One of my friends just told me I should check out this sport that people were playing in the gym,” Engel says. “I played for a few months, knew I was addicted and have been ever since.”
Both Schultz and Engel are also co-founders of AccessiMingos, a Forward Madison FC supporters’ group that’s helped finance the team during the COVID-19 pandemic and raised funds to buy a player a chair to play in. The Warriors take health protocols very seriously because they have some immunocompromised players, and the team wasn’t able to practice or play for 18 months.
However, the team and league started back up this winter. Both Engel and Schultz say they can’t wait to get back to more tournaments and competitions after the long break.
“It’s very much a social thing — Tyler and myself both have a lot of friends on different teams all over the country,” Schultz says. “In Madison, there’s only a half a dozen of us or less. … When you open it up to the nation and all those other teams, it becomes a social network.”
Read about more adaptive sports in the Madison area here.
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