Cedar Hill — After receiving a supporting sendoff from students at Italy High School as they boarded the bus, CBI class Special Olympic athletes along with Stafford Elementary’s Special Olympics team competed in the Area 10 Basketball Skills Competition at Cedar Hill on Wednesday. The athletes are split into different groups to compete in three different areas of basketball skills: Target Pass, Spot Shot and the 10-meter dribble. Besides Italy, special athletes from all over the area participated in the olympic games including Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Waxahachie and many more.
After a playing of the National Anthem, the opening ceremonies were enhanced with excitement as Italy’s own Katie Connor was introduced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on behalf of all those in attendance. “It was a great honor and Katie delivered the pledge with confidence. We were all very proud of her,” detailed CBI instructor Teresa Young.
Connor was just getting started with her impressive day as she competed in the basketball challenge and dribbled away with a 1st place gold medal. When asked how she felt after winning her medal, Connor responded by saying, “I felt good,” as her smile sparkled as bright as her medal.
CBI class teammate Nathan Brock also competed in the basketball challenge and caught, shot and dribbled his way to a 3rd place medal with his mother Tracey Bowles, brother Devon Bowles and sisters Peyton Bowles and Haley Bowles on hand to celebrate the exciting moment with him.
CBI class member Morgan Martinez opted not to participate in the olympics this trip. Instead, Martinez chose to honor her commitment as a part time employee at the Happy Hearts Childcare facility in Italy. Martinez attends class in the morning and then spends a few hours in the afternoon at the day care. She helps with cleaning duties, stacking mats and keeping the rooms picked up and organized for the little ones as part of the life skills program to help prepare CBI class members for the working world upon graduation. Her commitment to a job well done makes Martinez a winner in our book! “We are very happy to have her working here at Happy Heart. Morgan has been working here since last year and does a great job taking care of the cleaning tasks for our teachers,” commented Happy Hearts owner Cherie Hyles Cedillo.
Stafford Tigers — Special Olympic Results:
- Mikey South got 1st place in his heat
- Danny Ashley got 1st place in his heat (Danny joined the Italy group from Ferris)
- Charlie Bolin got 2nd place in his heat
- Wyatt Ballard got 2nd place in his heat
- David Williams got 3rd place in his heat
“These kids did an awesome job with their attitudes! They had to wait in the stands for their names to be called for competition. A big shout out goes out to Mikey South, David Williams, and Charlie Bolin as they were among the last to compete. They maintained great attitudes and good patience as they waited in the stands for their chance to shine,” commented Stafford’s CBI instructor Beverly Cox. Italy’s next athletic endeavor will be track and field.
Special thanks to the following teachers and parents for their assistance:
- Beverly Cox
- Stafford Elementary CBI Teacher, Special Olympics Coach/Head of Delegation for Italy ISD
- Teresa Young
- Italy High School CBI Teacher Special Olympics Assistant
- Erskin Anavitarte
- Stafford Elementary Teacher Assistant & Special Olympics Assistant Coach/Chapperone
- Lynn Rudd
- Stafford Elementary Teacher Assistant Special OlympicsChaperone
- Mike South
- Supportive Dad/Special Olympics Chaperone
Congratulations to our CBI Gladiator and Lady Gladiator special athletes and to our Tiger special athletes for representing Italy ISD with their hearts of champions!