3 Area Special Olympics Athletes to Compete in National Games in June

By: Sports Department
By: Sports Department

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,300 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics transforms lives  by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life.  Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.  If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit the website at www.soill.org.

America’s champions will be revealed from June 14-21, 2014 when more than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from throughout the United States - including those from Illinois - will travel to Princeton, New Jersey and the surrounding area to compete in 16 sports before tens of thousands of spectators and volunteers at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.

Special Olympics Illinois has announced its delegation of 54 athletes, 6 Unified Partners and 18 coaches who will make up Team Illinois (see complete list below). Three local athletes will be in attendance. They are Jacob Tillery of Freeport, Joanna Coffler of Rockford, and Troy Fiedler of Rockford. Each of these Illinois athletes competed in their sport at a recent Special Olympics Illinois state competition and was nominated for the delegation by their local coach and Special Olympics Illinois Area Director.

Special Olympics Team Illinois will compete in nine sports - two of those sports involve Special Olympics Unified Sports which combine athletes with and without disabilities competing against other Unified teams. One Illinois athlete will compete in Unified Golf with his partner without disabilities. Illinois will also have a high school age Unified Soccer team with half the team made up of Unified Partners without disabilities.

Special Olympics Illinois President and CEO Dave Breen said, “These athletes will represent Illinois proudly at the 2014 USA Games which promise to be the largest and most innovative national games in the history of Special Olympics in the United States.”

In New Jersey, the sports competitions will be held at venues throughout Mercer County including Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Mercer County Park and several area private schools. In addition to the many showcased sports, Special Olympics athletes will participate in spectacular Special Events including an Opening Ceremony at the Prudential Center in Newark, Closing Ceremony at Sun National Bank Center, a board-walk themed Olympic Town, a Special Olympics Unified Sports Festival, and much more. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is the Honorary Chairman of the 2014 USA Games.

Team Illinois is sponsored by Special Olympics Illinois year-round partners : the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run and Illinois Knights of Columbus. To become a sponsor of the delegation, contact Special Olympics Illinois at 630-942-5610. For more information about the Games or becoming a volunteer , please visit the 2014 Games website at www.2014specialolympics.org.

Here are the members of Team Illinois for the 2014 USA Games:
LISTING INCLUDES NAME OF ATHLETE OR COACH, THEIR HOMETOWN AND THE AGENCY WHERE THEY TRAIN OR COACH

Aquatics
Jacob Tillery of Freeport– Freeport Park District
Caroline Colianne of Evanston – Evanston Special Recreation Association
Caleb Crede of Urbana – Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation (CUSR)
Craig Dillaplain of O’Fallon – Belleveille PTOEC
Alex Dmytrenko of Gurnee – Warren Special Recreation Association
Georgia Hunter of Oak Park– West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA)
Rikki Kirsch of Shorewood – Special Connections
Tamara Parks of Kirkwood – Warren County Special Olympics
Head Coach Erin Newport of Ingleside – Special Olympics Illinois Area 13/18 Committee
Assistant Coach Miranda Henson of Bloomington – SOAR

Athletics (track & field)
Joanna Coffler of Rockford– Rockford Special Olympics
Cody Ball of Carterville– Carterville High School
Donald Campbell of Chicago– Walter Payton College Prep
Joanna Coffler of Rockford– Rockford Special Olympics
Emily Eisenmenger of Tolono – Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation (CUSR)
Peter Hill of Lincolnshire – Special Recreation Association of Central Lake County (SRACLC)
Brent Kampert of Crystal Lake– Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association( NISRA)
Rachal Kidd of Mt. Vernon– JC Jets
Allison Leehaug of Frankfort– Lincolnway Special Recreation Association (LWSRA)
Charles Mason of Charleston- Camp New Hope
Hannah McNiece of Chatham – Chatham Area Special Olympics
Taylor Reidel of Normal– SOAR
Ellie Richardson of Naperville– District 203 Neuqua Valley High School
Head Coach Sheri Izban of Romeoville– Lily Cache Special Recreation Association (LCSRA)
Assistant Coach Ben Bergof Warrenville – Lily Cache Special Recreation Association (LCSRA)
Assistant Coach Chris Reffett of Quincy– Area 11 Committee

Bocce
Elizabeth Clark of Chicago– Welles Park
Grace Stevens of Quincy– Transitions of Adams County
Aaron Strubbe of Jacksonville – Athlete Bocce Group
Robert Warren of Ottawa – Ottawa Friendship House
Coach Leonard Woodson of Chicago – Evanston Special Recreation Association

Bowling
Blake Baker of Mt. Carmel – Kieffer Independent
Scott Pickerel of Olney– Olney Rebels
Amanda Shumaker of Galesburg, Warren County Special Olympics
Emilee Walker of Milan – Walker-Independent
Coach Matt Corso of Naperville– Southeast Association of Special Parks and Recreation (SEASPAR)

Golf
Jordan Brix of Morton – Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Assoc. (HISRA)
Allan Brix (Unified Partner) of Morton– Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Assoc. (HISRA)
Geoffrey Klimek of Orland Park– Orland Park Special Recreation Association
Jeff Osowski of Downers Grove– Southeast Association of Special Parks & Recreation (SEASPAR)
Head Coach Sean Tovey of Wheaton– Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Assoc. (NEDSRA)
Assistant Coach/Caddie Vicki Mann of Schaumburg – Hersey High School
Assistant Coach/Caddie Lisa Wisniewski of Chicago – Mt. Greenwood Park

Gymnastics
Janna Blowers of Elburn– Fox Valley Special Recreation Association
Karlee Darow of Palatine– Elite Superstars
Danielle Mongeon of Belleville– Belleville Parent-Teacher Organization for Exceptional Children (PTOEC)
Sabrina Walega of Chicago – Elite Superstars
Coach Jennifer Hitt of Edwardsville – Belleville PTOEC

Powerlifting
Christopher Baumann of Orland Park– Orland Park Special Recreation Association
John Henley of Marion– Lightning Bolts
Amelia Hernandez of Chicago – Piotrowski Park
Michael Walters of Decatur– Dreamcatchers
Coach Mike Younie of Aurora– Geneva Park District

Unified Soccer Team
Mackenzie Carlson of Normal– Normal West High School
Nicholas Joseph of Schaumburg– Hoffman Estates High School
Adam Lopez of Pontiac – Pontiac High School
Vanessa Sandoval of Hoffman Estates (Unified Partner) – Hoffman Estates High School
Adam Shelton of Pontiac (Unified Partner) – Pontiac High School
Hanna Simmons of Bloomington (Unified Partner) – Normal West High School
Nathan Simmons of Bloomington– Normal West High School
Matthew Sommerer of Hoffman Estates– Hoffman Estates High School
Carina Valencia of Hoffman Estates (Unified Partner) – Hoffman Estates High School
Rebecca Wilson of Normal (Unified Partner) – Normal West High School
Head Coach Megan Clodi of Mt. Vernon– Mt. Vernon High School
Assistant Coach David Luzwick of Hanover Park– School District 54
Peer Coach Juan LaVerde of Naperville – Nequa Valley High School

Volleyball
Troy Fiedler of Rockford – Rockford Special Olympics
Jason Akbar of Joliet – Special Recreation of Joliet & Channahon (SRJC)
Jelani Allen of Chicago– Eckhart Park
Kelcie Calvin of Pocahontas– Clinton County
Nicholas Connor of Oak Park– West Suburban Special Recreation Assoc. (WSSRA)
Jason Coy of Wildwood– Warren Special Recreation Association, Gurnee
Wills Grosclaude of Havana – Pathway Services
Johnny Riley of Lockport – Special Recreation of Joliet & Channahon (SRJC)
William Rodriguez of Chicago– Shabbona Park
Christina Schutz of Darien– Southeast Association of Special Parks & Recreation (SEASPAR)
Head Coach Hannah Sheets of Champaign– Champaign Urbana Special Recreation (CUSR)
Assistant Coach Amy Longmore of Elgin– Hoffman Estates High School


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