Chargers place 3rd in Special Olympics volleyball

COLUMBUS — The Crawford County Board of Developmental Disabilities enjoyed a successful trip to the 2015 State Special Olympics Ohio State Summer Games.

The Chargers volleyball team represented Crawford County in the Traditional Blue Division. In the first game, Crawford County was beaten 25-21 and 25-11 by Wood County S.O. In the consolation game, Crawford pulled things back together and went on to defeat the Richland County Bears by scores of 25-19 and 25-21. As a result of this win, the Chargers finished in third place in the division.

The team included Jeremia Gale, Samantha Hart, Chris Hysell, Tim Jarvis, Justin Locke, Nate Metzger, Jackie Stuckman, Ashley Tyree and Kyle Tyree. Ron Shirkey is the head coach. Assistant coaches are Keith Bradley, Jim Plasencia and Sherry Shirkey.

After successfully competing in the local and area competition, they were selected to represent Crawford County Board of DD at state Special Olympics. Over 2,700 participants were involved in the weekend program held at Ohio State University.

The Summer Games program included 11 sports, movies, recreational clinics and the colorful opening ceremonies. Athletes and chaperones were housed in Ohio State University dormitories and were provided six meals through the University’s Union Services.

Opening ceremonies started off the weekend on June 26 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The symbolic lighting of the Olympic Flame of Hope officially opened the games, and was followed by a dance and fair provided by hundreds of volunteers.

Special Olympics offers year-round training and competition in 23 winter and summer Olympic-style sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The Special Olympics Ohio program is reaching more than 17,000 intellectual disability athletes. Local officials said the Crawford County Special Olympics Program is going strong, but additional volunteers are needed to continue to strengthen the program, and it is hoped that in 2016, the program will be better than ever before.