Over 2,000 student-athletes, students, and spectators from 12 area high schools competed and cheered enthusiastically in the 12th annual Special Games held in the field house at Lincoln-Way Central High School on Friday, March 1.
Students competed in a variety of events, including a disc throw, target throw, beanbag toss, running spirits, and dribbling. There was also a football toss, ring toss, and basketball hoop shoot.
The Special Games opened with a parade of athletes from each of the schools competing including: Andrew, Bolingbrook, Bradley-Bourbonnais, Joliet Township, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North, Lincoln-Way West, Lockport, Sandburg, Stagg, and Homewood-Flossmoor .
Following the parade of athletes was the presentation of the colors by the Lincoln-Way Central ROTC color guard, and the National Anthem sung by Lincoln-Way West student Tim Leiser. Students Matt Wagstaff and John Doran from Lincoln-Way Central presented the torch to begin the Special Games.
Strong competition and enthusiastic support began during the opening ceremonies and lasted for the entire event. At the end of the day the Spirit Stick was awarded to Lincoln-Way Central. Winners of the Spirit Wall went to: Andrew for gold; Stagg for silver; and Lincoln-Way East for bronze.
New this year to the Special Games was the Tommy Schuman Leadership Award. This special award was presented to a deserving senior student leader from each of the participating schools. The award recognizes student leaders for their outstanding efforts and work in and out of the classroom. Receiving the award were: Nick Larson from Lockport; Isaac Taylor from Bolingbrook, Hannah Chesley from Lincoln-Way West; Rachel DiNaso from Lincoln-Way East; Eric Lindstrom from Joliet; Kelly Sistos from Stagg; Chris Scumaci from Sandburg; Nicole Tromotola from Lincoln-Way North; Katrina Cimaroli from Lincoln-Way Central; Deric Hanners from Bradley-Bourbonnais; Jordan Bos-Watson from Homewood-Flossmoor; and Caroline Krotiak from Andrew.
"The Special Games provide athletes with a rare opportunity to compete against other area high schools while representing their own school with spirit and pride," said Mary Harrison, special services director for Lincoln-Way High School District 210 and co-chair for Special Games. "It also gives the many student leaders and peer helpers assisting the competitors a valuable and memorable experience."
"The athletes take away from their experience at the Special Games a feeling of accomplishment, fun, and school pride. In addition the le3aders as well as the entire student body develop a sense of appreciation, understanding, and gratitude for those who offer something truly unique to this world," said Maggie Jager, an adaptive P.E. teacher for Lincoln-Way District 210 and co-chair for the Special Games.