All smiles at Ca­toosa schools' an­nual Spe­cial Olympics

The Catoosa County News - - SPIRITUAL -

Christ­mas came early for more than 200 ath­letes par­tic­i­pat­ing in the 2015 Ca­toosa County Spe­cial Olympics on Thurs­day May 24 at Don Pat­ter­son Sta­dium.

The Ca­toosa Schools’ an­nual event fea­tured Her­itage se­niors Jake Allen, Jamie McCurry, Kristo­pher San­tilli, Jake Weekly of Her­itage, Bran­don Plas­ter of Ring­gold and Emily Haney, Kur­tis Rachels, Hunter Tay­lor and Bri­anna Whit­ley of Lake­view-Fort Oglethorpe.

Becky Con­ner, Ca­toosa schools’ spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion direc­tor, said it was with­out a doubt the big­gest day for not only th­ese se­niors, but ev­ery ath­lete com­pet­ing in more than a dozen dif­fer­ent events.

“This is my fa­vorite day of the school year ev­ery year,” Con­ner said. “I love the com­mu­nity be­ing in­volved; the par­ents and the ath­letes make it so much fun.”

San­tilli (Her­itage) said he was “giv­ing it his all” while be­ing with his friends one last year.

“It’s re­ally fun,” he said. “I’ve been do­ing this for a long time. It kind of makes me sad be­ing my last year.”

Jarred Ham­mil (Her­itage) com­peted in the run­ning events and the ten­nis ball throw. He said it was a huge day for him and his friends.

“I’ve been ex­cited about this ev­ery year,” he said. “I love hav­ing ev­ery­one come out and cheer me on.”

Ham­mil’s big­gest fan was his sis­ter Mor­gan Ham­mil, who at­tends Dal­ton State Col­lege. She said she couldn’t say enough pos­i­tive things about Ca­toosa schools with Spe­cial Olympics.

“I think this is so great,” she said. “It’s so good to be able to have all the spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion classes come to­gether, have fun and com­pete.”

Cody Gravitt (Ring­gold) said his best event is the 50-me­ter dash.

He said all of his rib­bons will hang on his wall in his bed­room at home.

“I’ve been do­ing this for about six years,” he said. “I love it. I like my rib­bons too.”

Lo­gan Pick­ett of Her­itage High School said it was an ex­tra spe­cial day for him, hav­ing the ath­letes he sup­ports cheer on him. Pick­ett is a manager for the foot­ball, ten­nis and boys’ bas­ket­ball team.

“We have a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s good to get to be with ev­ery­one and have them cheer.”

Pick­ett said his best event was the long jump.

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