44th National Wheelchair Softball Association World Series Tournament
The National Wheelchair Softball Association World Series Tournament is taking place at the Coast Coliseum parking lot in Biloxi.
The Houston Rolling Astros and the Atlanta Shepard Sluggers are two of the 13 teams competing at the World Series in Biloxi. The tournament was supposed to take place here last year, but was postponed due to the pandemic. NWSA President Chris Etheridge said, “This year we were bound and determined not to let it slow us down again. We had 13 teams sign up in a tournament that traditionally in 2016 and 15 we had 19 to 20 teams, but 13 after the pandemic we felt was really good.”
Rolling Astros player Erik Mendez said, “It feels great to get back out here. We were here a few years ago for the tournament, and we got rained on as well so we are ready whether it’s hot or whether it’s rainy. We were ready.”
Teams from all across the country including New York, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia and Arizona have showed up on the Coast ready to play. This league has been a great opportunity for many disabled athletes over the years to showcase their talents. Deep South Hurricanes player Sylvester Crosby said, “It feels good to know that we can get out here and play as individuals with disabilities, especially after COVID, you know being inside for two years we haven’t played at all, and we finally get the opportunity to come out and play with everybody.”
The NWSA governs about 50 teams across the world including in countries like Japan, Nigeria, Korea, and Ghana. The USA even sometimes sends their team to Japan to play in their national championship games. Rolling Astros Coach Bryon Southwell said, “It’s a blessing honestly man. It’s a God given blessing to be able to be out here, to be able to coach with Eric and my other brother Keeta who I got into this after his accident. He taught me everything I know about softball.”
If you would like to watch, admission is free and the action continues Saturday and Sunday.