Upon hearing his name being called, Lucas Currier drove out to the court and gave the crowd a swift 360-degree spin before running to line up with the rest of his teammates.
The team all have a form of Muscular Dystrophy called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which features an early onset age of between three to five years old. A genetic disorder, it is categorized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.
Currier, 17, is an honorary member of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) men’s soccer team and, for the past three years, has participated in the “Roll to the Goal” power soccer challenge at UNH’s Lundholm Gymnasium. Power soccer is a sport played in electric wheelchairs for athletes with disabilities. Each player has an electric chair with a guard on the front to be used to maneuver and kick the ball.
The challenge consisted of four quarters with a different team competing against the PowerCats, Currier’s team with North East Passage. PowerCats’ team consists of Lucas Currier, Adam Villenuve, Ryan Vingneault and Austin Leclaire.
The first quarter was played between the PowerCats and UNH’s Men’s Soccer, with the PowerCats winning the quarter with an 8-0 score. The second quarter ended on an even higher note for the PowerCats when they beat members the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity 11-0. At the end of each game, the teams would line up and gave each other a “good game” tap with their guards.
The third quarter brought yet another win for the PowerCats who played against four other members of the UNH Men’s Soccer team; and in the final quarter, the PowerCats were split with the Oyster River High School soccer team.
UNH’s Men’s Soccer coach Marc Hubbard and his assistant coach Rich Weinrebe bet on which team, blue or yellow, would win the fourth quarter. If blue won, Hubbard promised to donate $100 to North East Passage; if yellow prevailed, Weinrebe would donate $100 to North East Passage. Hubbard encouraged attendees to place bets with the people next to them and donate whatever they bet.
During halftime and between the third and fourth quarters, North East Passage raffled off 12 baskets filled with various prizes. A bake sale also occurred before, during and after the game. All of the proceeds went to North East Passage and their trip to Indiana for the MK Battery Power Soccer Tournament.
Linda Currier, Currier’s mother, said that he was ecstatic to be a part of the UNH men’s soccer team and that he is invited to all the practices.