Special Olympics teams qualify for State


The Special Olympics basketball team made it to State through a series of victories at a tournament hosted by Jacob’s High School.

The basketball team participated in a tournament on Sunday, January 12 at Jacob’s High School. There, they played the Barrington Broncos, won, and moved onto the next round. The second game was competing for first place and was against the Wauconda Bulldogs. They went into double overtime and won 50 to 44.

“All of the kids were so excited. They all wanted to take turns holding the trophy and cannot wait for State,” said Special Olympics basketball coach Allison Barker. The basketball team worked very hard to make it where they are, and they’ve made it to State for the third year in a row. ”This year’s State qualifying game was a hard win. We went into double overtime, and they really had to fight for it. It was amazing watching their teamwork come together, which was ultimately their saving grace. It was extremely exciting,” Barker said.

Special Olympics is like a big family. They offer many different opportunities to the athletes. They practice every Thursday after school.

“We typically meet once a week on Thursdays. The days change occasionally due to practice space availability, but we strive to keep it as consistent as possible. It’s important to have a weekly activity where the students are able to stay after school as a group and work toward a common interest,” Barker said.

Special Olympics is split into 3 seasons, and the sports can change. This year they played bocce ball, basketball, along with track and field, which is starting soon.

This year’s bocce ball team is also going to State.

“This year for bocce ball we have one team (River Alverio, Sean Hogan, Phineas Hopkins, Henry Pogue-Central), 1 doubles (River Alverio and Lukas Igoe), and 3 singles (Abigail Christy-Central, Micah Girmscheid, and Phineas Hopkins) all advancing to the State competition (Summer Games) in June at ISU,” Barker said.