The headline is just a tad misleading. I say spend a day in these kids’ shoes if you can, but in some cases you can’t because some have had a leg amputated and others have had both.
The team pictured above is the Wayne County Wildcats, a sled hockey team. Each of the players has some type of mobility issue. Many are in wheelchairs. Some have their legs, but not the use of them. One young teen had both legs amputated at the knee when he was 18 months old.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio, established by Wooster-area resident Lisa Followay, held charity sled hockey games. The Wooster Oilers, a Tier III junior hockey team, played against The College of Wooster Scots hockey team, which is a Div. III club team.
The Oilers dispatched of the Scots, and when it came time to play the Wildcats, let’s just say, the Oilers did not hit pay dirt.
It was incredible to see how able-bodied young men were taken to school on the ice by a team full of kids, teens and adults who are dealing with spina bifida, cerebral palsy or have had legs amputated.
In the church, we are fond of saying the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Well, the ice was level on the bottom of a hockey sled, and the Wildcats proved it.
The amazing thing was the smiles on the faces of the Wildcats. They were not only able to compete with the Oilers, but they beat them late in the third period.
I have no idea what it is like to deal with something like cerebral palsy, spina bifida or have my legs amputated because of bacterial meningitis. I have no clue how difficult it is to have to depend on a wheelchair for mobility. I cannot comprehend what it must be like to be dependent upon another human for everything, including going to the bathroom.
No matter what those kids were going through, for a brief time in the rink at the Alice Noble Ice Arena, the Wildcats stood tall and proud, and they beat a team of strong, rugged young men on the Oilers’ home ice. But the Wildcats won on their terms.
Perhaps tomorrow I will cry, “Woe is me.” But not today. I have no excuses as to why I cannot accomplish something. Not today. Not after the Wildcats took me to school, anyway.