Capper Handball Team (1993)
Disclaimer: The following was transcribed from an article in the Capper Foundation Archives published by The Topeka Capital-Journal. The choice of words used at the time this was written may not reflect current Capper Foundation inclusive language and views.
Capper Handball Team Pumped Up After Rally (1993)
by Amy Funk
They might not draw crowds like the Super Bowl champions, but the Topeka Capper Snappers had their own celebration with enthusiastic fans during a Tuesday pep rally at the Capper Foundation, 3500 SW 10th.
Capper students, staff and parents gathered to honor the 15-member handball team as the group prepared to leave for the National Wheelchair Team Handball Tournament in Houston.
The tournament will run Thursday through Saturday.
The Capper Snappers is one of seven teams of athletes with disabilities competing for the national title in the annual event, sponsored by the US Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association.
Cathy Shea, a coach for the Topeka team, said wheelchair team handball was a fast-paced game that combined soccer and basketball. It is played on a basketball court and uses soccer goals. Nine members from each team compete on the court during the game.
She said this will be the first year the Topeka team has competed for the national title.
“The teams don’t have to qualify to compete in the tournament because of the open invitation,” Shea said. “But the Capper Snappers are currently the reigning regional champions.”
The team, created through a cooperative effort between Topeka Parks and Recreation and Capper Foundation, has 15 members and includes six teenagers from Capper.
Jeff Ingels, one of the nine team members from the community, has been on the team since its initiation four years ago.
“I have always wanted to play at nationals,”Ingels said.” It will be a good experience for all of us.”
Jenni Koebel, a student at Cappers, said she also was excited about the tournament. (Click here to read more about Jenni’s time with Capper!) She said she enjoyed playing handball for the exercise.
“I like to be active,” Kobel said. “And handball keeps me busy while having fun at the same time.”
Other team members are Dynnetta Banks, Marjorie Bricker, Bill Buell, Alfred Charay, Lee Graybeal, Austin Hanson, Brendan Kearns, Jason McMillen, Brooke O”Hara, Michael Samson, Kelli Spinner, Tammi Spinner and Chris Thompson.
Kim Stewart , head coach of the team, said she was confident the team would perform well and have fun.
“I think they put a lot of hard work into preparing for nationals,” Stewart said.
Stewart is assisted by Gary Barraclough, Shea, Dennis Hower and Linda Bricker.