Special Olympics basketball provides an outstanding experience and brings Ranger victories

Special Olympics basketball provides an outstanding experience and brings Ranger victories

Fifth year, graduated senior Nikolay Wordhouse eyed the basket as the clock ticked closer to zero. After a great pass with just two seconds left, Nikolay threw up a half-courter that dropped for an incredible highlight in game two of FHC’s morning double header.

The FHC special olympic basketball team, coached by principal Steve Passinault and safety liaison Daane Spielmaker, has had outstanding success with a great group of kids. Tuesday morning was no different.

“The whole experience has been a lot of fun,” Passinault said. “It’s a really great group of kids, and the partners have done a really nice job with the athletes this season. We’re teaching them a lot about teamwork and basketball, but they teach us just as much about keeping things in perspective. Especially in the sports setting.”

Senior Johnny Burr had an outstanding effort bringing the ball up the floor with swift post moves to get underneath the basket. Partners Tanner Hallock, Bryce Clay, Jace Thornton, and Noah Stout had the special task of assisting the Ranger athletes.

“It’s not about winning and losing,” Tanner said. “It’s about the joy they have every game. I think everyone scored which is obviously the goal; it was a really good day. You just want everyone to go out and have fun. That’s all that matters.”

Nikolay, and eighth grader Clay Udell, were performers on the offensive side of the ball. Clay made big passes and knocked down a couple shots of his own. Nikolay was no different, converting on several opportunities.

Seventh grader Liam Doyle also played a huge factor Tuesday morning. Not only was he a lock down defender, but he was outstanding at engaging the giant student section with flexing and break dancing at center court during the breaks.

Senior Konstantin Melder was also outstanding. He displayed incredible sportsmanship throughout the second half. As FHNE brought in a new group of subs, Konstantin not only assisted the Rangers, but the opposing squad as well ensuring everyone had a basket in the game.

Aaron DeCosta was a big time defensive stopper, moving all over the floor and coming up with big steals in clutch situations. He also was a shifty point guard and helped give the Rangers move the ball on offense.

Freshmen Christian Beckering also brought a major energy boost to this Ranger team. He hyped up the student section and made sure everyone felt his presence. His persistent offensive attack led to numerous scoring opportunities for FHC.

The Rangers were especially excited after winning game one 22-17. A chance to lace up and put on the green and white isn’t always for everybody, but today for these seven athletes, they got their shot.