1999-07-10 / Sports

Great Fun - Special Olympics Basketball

by Joe Featherston

The St. Camillus Special Olympics recently competed in the New York State Area Basketball Games at Fordham University. The morning began with the 14 athletes receiving their new St. Camillus jerseys which were designed by Bugsy of Roxbury Mills. Next, they boarded a chartered bus with their parents and coaches and took off for the Bronx.

The athletes were met by hundreds of Fordham student volunteers and were entertained by the Fordham band and the Fordham mascot, the famous Ram. After an opening parade of athletes, the games began.

Seven of the athletes competed in the three individual skills competition in dribbling, shooting and passing. Eric Geisel won a silver medal, Joe Orban, Patrick Tritschler, and Paul Fitzpatrick won bronze medals, and Timothy Mullally, Anthony Davis, and James Flood won ribbons.

The remaining seven athletes played four games on the famed Fordham hardwood and won a bronze medal with their 2 - 2 record. Walter Ensor, Tommy Ryan, and Kevin Reilly led the scoring, Brian Moriarty and Julie Jackson were the rebounders, and Terence Burke, and Patrick Carroll were the playmakers.

All the New York State officials were amazed at the fan support for the St. Camillus team. Coincidentally to the competition date, Timmy Tubridy celebrated his Fordham graduation with a weekend gala party. Consequently, the stands were packed with enthusiastic Rockaway fans. Among those in attendance were Jessie, Jenny, Jamesie, and Dee Tubridy, Stacy and Carolyn McCormack, Katie Carey, Loretta Connolly, Kathy, Kenny and Kaitlin Courtney, Bard, Kilby Shinann, Martina, Elenoira, Bethann and Patrick Featherston, John Mullally, Miriam and Stephanie Davis, Jane Orban, Kathleen Moriarty, Ed Carroll, John, Maura, and Sheila Ryan, Lynn Kroessler, Tommy and Timmy Tubridy, Kelly Doherty, Claire and John Jackson, Sherry Friedfertig, Noreen Ryan, Mary Tritschler, Eileen and Dylan Follo, Rich Flood, Jack Fitzpatrick, Walter Ensor, Peg and Rick Giesel, and Jay Burke, who also assisted with the basketball team.

The St. Camillus athletes sincerely thank all of these fans for their support. They hope to see you back at Fordham next year.

The athletes could not have succeeded without the guidance of their volunteer coaches who trained them every Monday. Several of these coaches also assisted at Fordham, including: Christine and Joe Courtney, Jim McVeigh, Kathy Clarke, Rose Gurry, Patrick Higgins, and Christy and Rich Grosseto. The great coaches who couldn’t attend include Peter Casey, Bethann O’Neill, Kiera Duffy, Mary Liz and Greg Grosseto, Danielle Mullen, Kathy Mertz, Michael Gurry, and Maureen Featherston. Thanks also to two Rockaway residents, Gene Ryan and Patrick Driscoll who volunteered through N. Y. Special Olympics to work for the day.

The athletes and coaches deserve a big thank you for all of Rockaway. They made the peninsula proud. A sincere thank you also goes to Father Dunne for his support of the weekly training site at St. Camillus. Finally, the charter bus, the uniform jerseys, and the bagels would not have been possible without the winter fund raiser at Martell’s Pub and Restaurant at Second Avenue and East 83 street with assistance from Jameson’s, the New Irish Circle, Jo Jo O’Grady, Jim McVeigh, and Joe Courtney. Thanks to all who supported that fund raiser as well as the Rockaway Family Walk-Run and the Jack Murphy Run, both of which also support the program.

The team hopes to compete in Ireland in 2001, and that trip’s first fund raiser will be on this Sunday, July 11, at Kelly’s Waterfront (Pier 92) from 3 - 7 PM.

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