Toledo Football takes on Toledo Crash in their annual wheelchair football game

Jessica Harker, Editor-in-Chief

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On March 26, the University of Toledo Rocket football team took on the Toledo Crash in their annual game of wheelchair football in the UT Rec Center.

“I think it’s huge,” said Jason Candle, head coach of UT football. “One of our main goals here is that, when our students graduate the University of Toledo, they leave it a better place than they found it.”

Toledo Crash is a local wheelchair football team. According to Mallory Tarr, the marketing coordinator of Toledo Crash, both people with disabilities and those without are welcome to join.

“It kind of introduces them to our world a little bit,” said Cre Smith, head coach of Toledo Crash. “It changes a lot; those individuals who are disabled, they are in wheelchairs every day, unlike able-bodied … I think it’s a disability awareness training for those who come out to watch us and those who are competing as well.”

Both teams look forward to the annual game each year as a unique opportunity to mesh two worlds.

“They [Toledo Crash] call it their Super Bowl,” Tarr said. “It’s a huge game, and we look forward to it all season.”

Toledo Crash looks forward to the opportunity to be competitive against the Rocket players, Tarr said. But the Rocket players don’t hold back.

“They definitely came to play,” Smith said. “It was very, very competitive. I don’t think our team expected them to come out like they did, but they did.”

Smith continued that events like this bring awareness to disability issues in the community. Having the team made up of both able-bodied and disabled individuals also allows those on the team to have a unique perspective on the game.

“I think that, in a world where athletes can get a selfish label,” Candle said, “it’s important to do everything we can to make sure we’re out in the community and to maintain a great reputation and understand what an impact we can make.”

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Toledo Football takes on Toledo Crash in their annual wheelchair football game