Rain, smiles continuous at Special Olympics soccer tournament
By Sarah Chap, Games Management Team Media Manager
"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
~The Special Athletes' Oath
On a rainy, blustery Saturday in mid-October, Norwich University hosted the Special Olympics Vermont State Soccer Tournament. More than 200 athletes representing 25 teams from 17 community programs across Vermont participated in both team and individual skills competitions. The games were officially opened with the lighting of the Olympic Torch and the Special Athlete's Oath, led by one of the athletes.
Then, despite the unrelenting deluge, the games began. The first half of the day was comprised of pre-division games, where teams played short games against one another for the purpose of evaluation. The results of these games were then tabulated, and teams were placed into appropriate divisions. After lunch, teams resumed play in a round robin format within their divisions. In addition, athletes participating in the Individual Skills Competition, which tested such skills as dribbling and shooting, participated in preliminary games before lunch, and then in division competitions.
Medals for first, second and third place were awarded in each individual and team category by Norwich Cadets in dress blue uniforms. A brief closing ceremony concluded the games.
For the third year running, a team of Norwich Physical Education students, under the direction of Professor Geoff Davison, assumed full responsibility for planning and running the tournament, including publicity, contracting certified referees, soliciting sponsors, organizing volunteers, providing refreshments, and a host of other responsibilities both before and during the event.
“The class did an excellent job again this year,” said Davison, “but more significant was the attitude and enthusiasm and sense of enjoyment demonstrated by the athletes, who, despite incredibly horrible conditions – mud and rain and wind – competed all day long without a grumble, and with smiles all around. It was a joy to see.”
Davison also acknowledged the support given by Special Olympics Vermont and Norwich University.
“As always, it’s a pleasure to work alongside the Special Olympics family. It’s exactly the sort of community outreach, leadership and service-learning experience that Norwich strives to give its students. We also appreciate the tremendous cooperation of the University regarding all aspects of the event, including supplying the fields, the use of Shapiro Field House, the sound system, the athletic equipment, and of course, hot chocolate.” Davison said. “It’s a great team effort.”
The Games Management Team consists of the following Norwich Physical Education students: Jake Rivers, Heather Cohen, Jonathan Marshall, Jolee Griffin, Luke Easterday, Melissa Stark, Sarah Chap, Scott DuPont, Christine Logigian, Meriel Longley, Beth Forney, Nikki DeLandy, Jason Carriveau, Tom Flannigan, Justin Chapman, Milton Rehbein, Brian Caffelle, Erik Melanson, Alex Miranda and Mike Conklin.
Individual Skills Competition:
Division 1: 1st place: Mariah Trayah (Chittenden); 2nd place: Christine Washington (Bennington); 3rd place: Kerri Munnett (Addison)
Division 2: 1st place: Craig Nelson (Addison); 2nd place: Kim Clark (Bennington); 3rd place: Christa Keppler (Bennington)
Division 3: 1st place: Anna Plue (Addison); 2nd place: Daniel Fleming (Addison); 2nd place: Richard Makovec (Addison); 3rd: Rosette Plue (Addison)
Individual Skills Competition (Unified):
1st place: John Fisk (Montpelier HS); 2nd place: Gabriel Teran (Montpelier HS); 3rd place: Martin DeAngelis (Montpelier HS)
Division 1: 1st place: Rutland Eagles; 2nd place: Orleans/Essex A; 3rd place: Double U's Team A; 4th place: Bennington B
Division 2: 1st place: Addison A; 2nd place: Bennington A; 3rd place; Manchester; 4th place: Double U's Team B
Division 3: 1st place: Addison B; 2nd place: Castleton/Fair Haven; 3rd place: Orleans/Essex B; 4th place: Chittenden C; 5th place: Bennington C
Team Competition (Unified):
Division 1: 1st place: Central Vermont; 2nd place: CHMS 1; 3rd place: CHMS 2; 4th place: RIMS- Red Team
Division 2: 1st place: Chittenden A; 2nd place: Hardwick All Stars; 3rd place: Chittenden B; 4th place: Montpelier HS A; 5th place: Montpelier HS B
Community Programs Participating:
- Camel's Hump Middle School
- Central Vermont
- Montpelier High School
- Rutland Intermediate School
- Rutland Eagles
- St. Albans
- Windham & Windsor County