Physically Disabled Students Take Their Turn on the Floor

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Culloton Daily Herald Staff Writer

Their high school athletic pursuits usually are limited to keeping score or cheering for their able-bodied classmates.

At least once a year at Palatine High School, however, the physically disabled students have their day in the spotlight.

This year, the day came when Palatine hosted a floor hockey tournament for disabled students for the second year in a row.

The day-long event may not have been an IHSA state championship or even a conference final, but it had all the fanfare of those contests and more.

Chicago area icon Wayne Messmer, former public address announcer for the Chicago Cubs, sang the National Anthem, and radio legend Larry Lujack, a Palatine resident, announced the game.

Palatine's On Our Own Club, a program for physically disabled students from Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 and Northwest Suburban High School District 214, notched a second-place finish in the tournament.

A team of disabled students from Jesse Spaulding High School in Chicago came in first place and the squad from Westmont High School in Westmont captured third place.

About 70 physically disabled students and about 30 able-bodied student helpers and coaches participated in the event.

The competition showed that though some students may be confined to wheelchairs, they do not lack fire in their bellies nor their own brand of athletic ability. …