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Screamin Eagles look for landing at nationals
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  • Address: 1086 Rainey St., Gainesville, GA 30501
  • Make check out to: USPSA (United States Power Soccer Association), and put “North Georgia Screamin’ Eagles” in the memo line

It’s been another successful season for the Screamin’ Eagles.

The power soccer team, which specializes in using wheelchairs to move the ball around an indoor court, has qualified for the national competition for the second year in a row.

“It means a ton to these guys because this is their competitive outlet,” said coach Brian Farmer of the invitation-only national championship. “There’s not that many options as far as sports for power chair users, so this is their outlet for competition.”

But unlike last year, when the competition was just down Interstate 985 at Suwanee Sports Academy, this year’s competition takes place in Indianapolis, Ind. That means along with the $2,000 entry fee, the team has to pay for transportation, lodging and for personal assistants to go along, too — which makes for an expensive trip.

“Because a lot of them have assistants for getting dressed, things like that, they pay assistants to go with them,” said Marcie Summer, who also coaches the team. “So, it’s about $1,000 per person.”

A few businesses have chipped in sponsorships, offered space for yard sales and let team members put out cans for spare change, all of which goes to the cause. As of this past weekend, the team was still a few thousand short of covering the entire goal.

“Whatever they don’t raise they’re responsible to pick up the costs themselves,” Summer said, “But a lot of them are on disability.”

The cost is more than what the team needed last year, when the national championship was in Suwanee.

“They didn’t have any hotel fees, they didn’t have to have 24-hour assistance like they will have in Indiana, and that’s what makes the cost so much more,” Summer said.

The team leaves on June 17. After returning from nationals, Summer said, the team will start a full schedule of fundraising for the next year. The parent organization for power soccer, the U.S. Power Soccer Association, is planning on adding a few Florida teams to the schedule, which until now has included teams easily accessible as a daytrip.

“Most of our travel is daytrips, to Chattanooga or Atlanta, to Birmingham, but they’re talking about adding a couple teams from Florida, which would require us to travel more,” Summer said.