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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Special Olympics attends Minot games

Special Olympics Glendive attended the Special Olympic North Dakota State Tournament in Minot, N.D. March 6-8.  Forty six teams were in attendance consisting of athletes from North Dakota, Montana and Canada.  Glendive was placed into Division 2. The athletes attending for Glendive were AJ Koepke, Willis Bonner, Megan Hall, Jeff Kassner, Ricky Tobison, Michael Whitlatch and Anton Veverka.

Our first game was with the Cass County Wolves.  The game was a defensive battle between two strong and determined teams.  Glendive ended up losing this in the final minutes by a score of 20-16. Our second game was played on Saturday morning against the Blue Demons of Bismarck. Glendive came out to win this game and played good defense, while Jeff Kassner got a hot hand to lead the offense. Anton Veverka injured his ankle in the fourth quarter leaving the team short on rebounding height. The rest of the team picked up on the rebounding to keep our lead.  Glendive won this game by a score of 19-34.

The final game for Glendive was against the Minot Thunder. Minot had a very strong team and with Anton Veverka sitting on the sidelines with an ankle injury left us weak on rebounding and fast break defense.  The Glendive team played with all their heart and never gave up until the final horn to end the game. We had a no win against Minot as the final score was 43-10. Our new players this year had a great learning experience this season. The teams we play against are very competitive as are we. One needs to learn that not always do you win, but lessons are learned each time you play and improvement is made.

Glendive did take home the bronze in this tough division.  Next year the gold.

On a real positive note for this tournament, an award is given by Special Olympics North Dakota. The award is for the State Tournament Team.  Glendive was privileged to have one of its athletes win this prestigious award. The award is decided by all coaches and referees voting for an athlete who excels in talent, desire, and sportsmanship during the tournament games. Only 10 athletes are chosen for this award and eight alternates are chosen. There were 443 athletes at these games.  Michael Whitlatch was, one of the ten, to be on the State Tournament Team.  What an outstanding accomplishment for this young and upcoming Special Olympic athlete from Glendive.

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