And even though the new ballpark won't be ready for this year's tournament, just having the national championships in Charm City is a proud occassion for the city and Kennedy Krieger Institute.

"It's nice to have this tournament in our own backyard, to have people from all over the country see this wonderful program," Judie Jaquis said. "It's an amazing group of people who run it and share a common bond with the disabilities."

Justin looks forward to having local fan support.

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"I'm happy to have fun with my teammates and have my friends and family close by and not have to travel as far to watch us play," he said. "It would be nice to win but what's more important is spending time with my teammates."

"Plus, he gets to sleep in his own bed, which makes a huge difference," Judie Jaquis added.

Another local Blazer, 12-year-old Will Brazel of Elkridge, will be competing in his first national tournament.

"I think it will be good. I think we have a chance to win, but I know I'll have fun and it's not about winning or losing," he said.

Brazel, who has polio, also competes in basketball, swimming, sled hockey, lacrosse, archery and fencing.

Will and his twin brother, Ben, were adopted from Russia when they were three years old.

"This has allowed Will to have this niche and be a part of a team and be supported," said his mother, Sue.

As Herman says, aside from being in wheelchairs, the athletes on the Bennett Blazers aren't much different from young athletes across the country.

"It's like every kid in every sport, it's a decompression sport. It's fun, it's something to do, it gets the kids out there."

For more information on the tournament, go to