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Sports for May 8, 2008

Special Olympians to Regional Event

WALSENBURG- Much attention has been paid to the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing, China this summer.  Premier athletes from across the world will compete for the gold metal and a chance to be called the best in the world.  Huerfano County has its own team of Olympians who will be competing this week.

      Sixteen athletes from the Sheltered Workshop in Walsenburg will travel to Englewood, Colorado tomorrow to participate in the Regional Special Olympics track and field events beginning Saturday, May 10.  These Special Olympians will compete in such events as speed walking, softball throw, shot-put and various running events.  Four staff members and their coaches, will be traveling along with these athletes.  The coaches include Leroy Valdez, Rita Cassias, Geraldine Gardenas and Christine Vigil.   Once there, our representative athletes, acting as ambassadors of the county, will compete for their gold medals.  Winners will then become eligible to compete at the state Special Olympics later in the month.

      Special Olympics was founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.  The mission statement of Special Olympics is “to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”

      The Sheltered Workshop in Walsenburg takes their athletes to various events throughout the year where they demonstrate their skills with bright smiles and big hearts in friendly competition.  Special Olympics athlete Oath states, “Let me win.  But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” 

    One such planned event will be a bowling tournament for area athletes slated later this summer.  Hundreds of people will converge on Walsenburg to participate in this event.  After witnessing a bowling event last fall, this reporter saw firsthand the genuine warmth these athletes display.  There was a competitive spirit while at the same time smiles and laughter filled the room.  It was like a big family reunion where new and old friends were joined for a common goal.

      Special Olympics serves more than 2.5 million people in over 180 countries worldwide.  The goal is to serve 3 million by 2010.  Special Olympics is not to be confused with the Paralympics. It is a separate organization.  If you would like to become involved with the Sheltered Workshop or want to participate in Special Olympics, call Frank at the workshop at 738-3151.

Redskin Tourney Winners

LA VETA- One hundred and fourteen duffers swung their way through the eighth Annual La Veta Redskin Golf tournament held at the Grandote Peaks Golf club this past Sunday.  The team of Charlie Nanereo, Sonny Segura, Aaron Veladrie and Josh Hartman claimed the top honors.   Coming in second was Ron Schwab, Megan and Mike Marcovecchio and Robert Hart.  The event helped to raise funds for the Redskin athletic department.

Panthers’ Season Ends

WALSENBURG- The John Mall Panthers’ baseball season ended with a victory last Friday against South Park.  The Cats split the pair of games, ending the season on a positive note.

     In the first game, the Panthers came out and hit the ball well, but defensive errors haunted the Cats later on.  Panther pitcher Charles Whitehead, back after missing a couple of games, pitched five innings, giving up all of South Park’s ten runs before Jon Aguirre relieved him midway in the fifth.  The Panthers seemed to keep up with the Burros through the game but were shut out in the final two innings.  When the dust settled, the Panthers lost 12-10.

     The second half of the doubleheader favored the Panthers as Aguirre pitched the best game of the season, striking out 18 batters in the process and giving up only two hits.  Whitehead closed the game as the Panthers dominated the Burros of South Park, 13-2.  John Mall hit the ball with ease, creating havoc for Derik Blair.  Aguirre had a solo shot over the wall in the first  and teammate Craig Eccher hit a two-run shot in the fourth.

     According to Coach DeHerrera, “There was a lot of chatter in the dugouts.  We went out and had fun playing the last game of the season.”

Redskins Run Around League

LA VETA-  The La Veta Redskins placed well at the Fishers Peak and West Central League track meet held last Saturday, May 3.  The Lady Redskins claimed five league champions in individual and team events who will advance to the Regionals at Adams State this weekend.  Individual winners include Carlee Koutnik in the 400m dash, Emily Moll in the 800m dash and Shelbi Kelly in the shot-put.  The team of Moll, Koutnik, Shea Brgoch and Sami Willhoite captured first in both the 800m relay and 800m medly relay.  Overall, the Lady Skins placed third in the league.

     The Redskin boys captured the league championship and along the way placed four champions. Colton Taylor placed first in the 200m dash and Jon Christian captured first in the 400m dash.  The team of Christian, Taylor, Brian Andreatta and Zane Sternberg took the 1600m relay and Harley Bradley, James Smalley, Evan Molyneux and Shane Brownlee won the 3200m relay.

     The Junior High Redskins also participated in the event.  Clancy Kreutzer was the only first-place finisher, capturing first in both the 100m and 400m dash.

Redskins Blast Through District Play

PAGOSA SPRINGS- The Redskins baseball team advanced their cause by capturing a pair of games in district action May 3.  With the pair of wins, La Veta advances to the Great Eight State High School playoffs for division 1A.  This will be the first time in school history their baseball team has advanced into the final rounds. The Redskins finished their season 6-3, after canceling the majority of their season due to inclement weather, but these wins earned them a place in the playoffs.

    In the first game, the Redskins had little trouble exorcising the Demons of Ridgeway High 14-3.  The game went five innings because of the ten-run rule, advancing them into the championship round.  Chris Trenckmann was the winning pitcher.  Game two pitted the Bulldogs of Dove Creek against the  Skins.  La Veta tamed the Dogs 17-10 in a wild high-scoring, high-hitting affair.  According to La Veta coach Tim Thompsen, “no one popped a homerun, but there were several triples.  The kids played a great game.”  Winning pitcher for the Skins was Dylan Thompsen, who pitched his first complete game of the season.

    La Veta will play the Wolves of Idalia at Runyon Field in Pueblo beginning at 9 am Saturday. Coach Thompsen encourages all fans to take the trip north and cheer on the local team in their quest for their first state championship.