2000-07-15 / Sports

Special Olympics Team Triumphs

By Joe Featherston

St. Camillus Special Olympics team at the opening ceremonies of the Queens County Track and Field Competition.
St. Camillus Special Olympics team at the opening ceremonies of the Queens County Track and Field Competition.

The St. Camillus Special Olympics Program recently competed in the Fordham University Area Games Basketball Tournament. The team was greeted by the university’s band and the famous Ram mascot. After the traditional Olympics parade of athletes, the games began.

The athletes are divided into either a team five on five full court competition or an individual skills competition consisting of dribbling, shooting, and passing. In the team competition, St Camillus beat the Nassau All-Stars 52-20, and the Association of Children with Down Syndrome 44-18 to claim the gold medal. It was very gratifying to see the nine-team members and their three coaches, Peter Brady, Rich Grosetto, and Jay Burke, celebrating with such enthusiasm and pride. Tommy Ryan, Walter Ensor, and John DiBartolomeo led the scoring; Joe Orban, Kevin Reilly, and Terence Burke were the playmakers; and Patrick Carroll and Brian Moriarty were the rebounders.

The team owed much of its success to its weekly practices with Joe Courtney and Peter Brady against Special Olympics volunteers Sean Tubridy, Brian Bagley, Danny Quinn, Katie Grogan, Kiera Duffy, Greg Grosetto, Ellenoira, Martina, and Shinann Featherston, and Spencer Daly.

In the individual competition, Jennifer Gottlieb won a gold medal, Evan Russell, and Elizabeth Sena won silvers, Patrick Tritschler, and Paul Fitzpatrick won Bronze, and Heather Huber, Anthony Davis, and Timothy Mullally won ribbons.

Thanks to the volunteers who traveled to Fordham to support the athletes. They were Sean Tubridy, Christine and Joe Courtney, Greg and Rich Grosetto, Rita Kirk, Peter Brady and Maureen Featherston.

The St. Camillus Program next competed in the Queens County Track and Field Competition at St. John’s University. In this competition, each athlete runs in either a 50 or 100 meter dash and then throws a softball for distance. In the dash, Joe Orban, Kevin Reilly, Erika Stringer, and Tommy Ryan won gold. Patrick Carroll, John DiBartolomeo, Paul Fitzpatrick, Evan Russell, and Elizabeth Sena took second place silver. Anthony Davis, Jennifer Gottlieb, and Kevin Nolan won bronze, and Terence Burke, James Flood, and Timothy Mullally took home ribbons.

The athletes throw the softball three times with their best throw determining their finishing placement. Evan Russell won gold. Terence Burke, Patrick Carroll, Paul Fitzpatrick, Kevin Nolan, and Elizabeth Sena won silver. Anthony Davis, John DiBartolomeo, Timothy Mullally, and Kevin Reilly took home bronze, and James Flood, Jennifer Gottlieb, Joe Orban, Tommy Ryan and Erika Stringer received ribbons for their efforts. Thanks to Kathy Clarke, Peter Brady, and Jim McVeigh who helped me organize all the athletes at St. John’s.

All of these very special athletes deserve credit for the determination they showed at their Monday night practices at the St. Camillus gymnasium. They thank Father Dunne for the use of their training facilities, and Sis O’Neill for her support there. They especially thank their coaches throughout the year: Jennifer Carson, Danielle Mullen (congratulations on her recent engagement), Lisa Collier, Kristen Daly, Matt Dory, Kilby Featherston, Trevor Tubridy, Sean Parchment, Caitlin Murtagh, Rose Gurry, Danielle Tesoriero and Jessica. The program thanks St. Francis de Sales and St. Rose of Lima parishes for contributing so many volunteers. The program could not exist without the volunteers’ help each week. There are now 28 athletes who train each week with individual coaching.

All of the coaches and athletes sincerely thank all of the program’s benefactors. Successful fundraisers were held in Manhattan at Coppersmith’s and Madison’s. The athletes and their parents traveled to Fordham in a nice coach thanks to a raffle, which was held at Pat and Bethann Featherston’s annual party after the Rockaway St. Patrick’s Parade. Ellenoira, Martina, Shinann, Kilby, and Lauren Featherston, and Katie O’Neill all sold the raffles tirelessly throughout the party.

Next on the agenda is the Family Walk/Run on July 28. Many of the Special Olympics’ athletes will compete, and the program shares in the race’s receipts.


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