EVANSTON — Evanston again played host to the Special Olympics area games this past weekend, on Friday and Saturday, April 26-27.
Friday’s events included power-lifting and basketball, the latter broken down into skills competitions along with 3 on 3 and 5 on 5 games between Special Olympic athletes and their unified team members.
On Saturday, track and field events were staged at the Evanston High School field, while swimming events called the Davis Middle School Pool home.
Teams participating included Bridger Valley, Evanston, LSR Masters, Star Valley, Star Valley masters, Sweetwater County, Sweetwater Sonics, Timberwolves, Jackson and Sublette County.
Locally, basketball results from Friday showcased many Evanston athletes. Winning gold medals for skills were Davin Dean, Jaycee Kohler, Elena Stephen and Lakota Whinery.
Winning silver medals were RJ Sherwood, Kaden Hammond, and Benny Chamberlin.
Bronze medals went to Landen Tethal and Katana Albert.
The 3 on 3 team of Caden Fry, Tanner Spatig, Byrlie Thomas, Francisco Vejar, and Jerod Stahl won a bronze medal in division A.
The 3 on 3 team of Joseph Beachell, Colter Camphouse, Austin Cook, and Kenyon Lovato won a silver medal in division A.
The team of Hagen Faddis, Breyer Faddis, Tharyn Barker, Tayson Spatig, and Joey Young won silver in division B. Other results and a few more pictures will be added in a a follow-up story in an upcoming issue of the Herald. This was Evanston’s third year in hosting the Area 2 games.
“We’ve pretty much got it down to a science,” coach Dave Deru told the Herald.
“We receive tremendous support from the community and it’s just as rewarding for the volunteers as it is for the Special Olympic athletes. That’s something we’re very proud of,” Deru said.
“We received a ton of compliments for how organized we are and how friendly our volunteers are,” the coach added. Evanston boasts the largest unified program in the state in just its third year of existence, another source of pride for local Special Olympic efforts.
“Our volunteers have really bought into it,” Deru affirmed.
“Across the board, we help each other out and pull for one another.”
Up next for Evanston Special Olympic athletes are the state games in Laramie, May 9-11.
“We’re really excited for the state games, because usually, school is out at the University of Wyoming. This year, it will still be in session so we’ll have Cowboy and Cowgirl athletes helping out with swimming and track events and football and basketball players will help officiate so it will be a fantastic experience for our kids,” Deru avowed.
The state games will mark the conclusion of the season until next fall, as the Special Olympic National Games are staged every other year.
“We would like to extend a special thanks to everyone in the community who volunteered, showed up to cheer on our athletes or who gave a donation,” Deru added.
“It means a lot to us.”