BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) — Metro Area Community Empowerment along with the Mississippi Society for Disabilities hosted a wheelchair softball tournament at the Quarry in Brandon.
Chris Etheridge is the Director of Softball Operations for MACE and a member of the Deep South Hurricanes, a team ranked 3rd in the world in wheelchair softball.
Etheridge with the help of a few able-bodied competitors, like former Southern Miss and Delta State pitcher Brent Leach, are hoping to raise more awareness for wheelchair softball.
“It’s near bout impossible, but you see these guys make it so easy,” Leach said. “It’s just perspective. I heard Antonio [Wright] talk about earlier, perspective. We can do things that can maybe help guys in wheelchairs, but until you really get in one and see what it’s all about and the old saying, put your feet in their shoes, it’s eye opening for sure.”
“We’re giving children hope,” said Etheridge. “Disabled kids that maybe don’t know that there’s these kind of things out here, disabled adults that are at home wondering where they belong. You can do anything that you did before the injury or before the sickness, you just have to do it a little built different. I happen to use wheels in my different, so it’s just a little bit different but it’s still the same sport and it’s meant everything to me.”
A team all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma came down to compete Saturday.
Etheridge said he also hopes to see a wheelchair softball field built in metro soon.