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On Sunday, October 14th, our athletes took a drive to DeSales University for the 2018 Eastern Fall Sectional. Athletes from Area P, Berks County, Bethlehem County, Bucks County, Carbon County, Chester County, Columbia/ Montour, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Luzerne County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Northumberland – Snyder Counties, Philadelphia County, Schuylkill County and the host county, Lehigh County, filled the football stadium in anticipation of a wonderful day of competition ahead. Every athlete had one thing on their mind, securing a spot at the fall state games – Fall Festival.
Opening Ceremonies kicked off with opening remarks from Dr. Berg and Chloe Phillips. Dr. Berg announced the theme for the day was Board Games in order to encourage everyone to take a chance and climb the ladder. Next, the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard was welcomed to do the presentation of colors followed by the DeSales University Choir who beautifully sang the National Anthem. Eric Cushing, Vice President of Development for Special Olympics Pennsylvania, was introduced once the National Anthem ended in order to thank and do a Check Presentation with the Billy Frost Concert Committee. After this was completed, Dr. Berg took over again and welcomed Global Messenger, Ashley Bressler from Columbia/ Montour to speak about her experience with Special Olympics PA and how she enjoys competing. The DeSales University Dance Team then took over in a wonderful performance followed by Father Kevin who led everyone in prayer. Chloe and Dr. Berg took over again and led the coaches and athletes in their oaths. Once this was finished, the lighting of the Flame of Hope occurred, and was carried by athletes from Lehigh County, Officer Mettin and officers from the DeSales University Police Department as a symbol for officers around the world being guardians of the flame. The Flame of Hope is a symbol of Special Olympics and represents the determination of all athletes. Finally, Chloe declared the 2018 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Eastern Fall Sectional officially open.
Over 800 athletes were led by 350 coaches and over 400 volunteers in games where they went head to head with one another and showcased their athletic abilities. Athletes competed in Bocce (Doubles and Unified Sports Doubles), Long Distance Running/ Walking, Powerlifting, Soccer (11 v 11, Skills, 7 v 7, 5 v 5 Unified Sports) and Volleyball (Team and Individual Skills). This was the first year we have a Unified Team (Strykers) who made their competition debut at the Area M Fall Sports Classic. Once the games were completed, all of our Soccer teams, Volleyball Skills athletes and Bocce teams had secured a spot in the state event.
Congratulations to all those teams and athletes we can’t wait to see what you do at Fall Festival!
Facebook Event Page | #SOPAFallEast
October 14, 2018: Julia Rose for 69wfmz News: Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes compete in Lehigh County event
|Kevin Karcher & Pam Galone||1st Place|
|Tracey McGarvey & John Kulpa||1st Place|
|Kirstyn Cantres & Christina DiVergilis||2nd Place|
Head Coach Carol Canady and Assistant Coaches Michelle Angerman
Philly Stars (5v5)
|Allison Davidson, Danny Amrik, Jackie Lutts, Emmett Abdo, Lisa Barbour, Kristie Walls, Michael Weinberg, David Brent Williams||Head Coach Charles Abdo, Assistant Coaches Ronald Atkins Sr,||3rd Place|
Stykers (Unified 7v7)
Brian Oldakowski, Ryan Milanaik, Joseph Rynkiewicz, Matthew Grabowski, Ryan Bogan, Michael Luciani, Brian Stulz, Hailey Hurst, Angel Rodriguez, Jonathon Boback
|Head Coach Gary Bixby, Assistant Coaches Samuel Fioravanti Sr,||1st Place|
|Charles Zisette, Mitchel Stahl, Sam Fioravanti Jr, Danny Charlton, Carl Irvis, Jesse Rose, Jason Bixby, Ian Capacio, Michael Castillo, Justin Martinez, Hope Anderson||Head Coach Walt Beckman, Assistant Coaches Karen Aviso, Jacqueline Bixby, Michelle Lebron||4th Place|
|Derrick Jackson, Teddy Angerman, Ray Anderson, James Shelton, Stanley Dluzniewski, Kelly Dluzniewski, Allison Ruitzer, Carlyn Robinson, Sharon Quarles, Francis Bradshaw||Head Coach Rosemary Duffy, Assistant Coach Andy Delworth, Jon Garvey||3rd Place|
|Cyla Bradshaw||1st Place|
|Marissa Williams||3rd Place|
Head Coach Monica Bradshaw