Four basketball teams representing Special Olympics Florida – Collier County participated in the State Basketball Championships in Tavares, FL on January 29-30. The Collier teams earned one gold medal, two silver medals, and one 4th place finish.
The Collier Eagles 5 on 5 Masters level team won its tournament, earning a gold medal. Team members included Charles Billon, Shawn Williams, Pedro Sierra, Joey McIntyre, Alberto Nieves, Jason Roxberry, John Hammig, JW McCarthy, Vilson Etiene, and Jacob Ward. Coaches were John Hammig, Joe McCarthy, Bill Tynian, and Larry Ward.
The Collier Eagles skills team finished in 2nd place, earning a silver medal. Team members included Joshua McClellan, Kevin Kennedy, Jeff Wohlers, Tony Denson, Jim Olivas, and Fernando Gonzalez. Coaches were Roger Jacobsen, Emily Thoemke, and Maria Pomacusi-Paz.
The Collier Bears Unified 5 on 5 team, representing Palmetto Ridge High School Project UNIFY, placed 2nd, also earning a silver medal. Team members included Ezequill Concepcion, Ashey Gonzalez, Jaydon Grierson, Pablo Reyes, Nathan Portillo, James Della Posta, Monica Cabrera, and Vanessa Pena. Kim Fletcher is the team’s coach.
The Collier Bears skills team, representing Palmetto Ridge High School Project UNIFY, placed 4th in their division. Team members included Chase Desch, Luis Hinojosa, Patricia Melendez, Abigail Nordilus, Victoria Perez, and Pedro Rodriguez. Patricia Della Posta coached the team.
The following additional volunteers from Palmetto Ridge High School also traveled with the teams: Rosmick Nordilus, Carlton Roth, and Rebecca Rudolf.