A real reason to celebrate.
The Madison County Tigers Special Olympics basketball team finished its dream season in style as they defeated Belmont County 49-24 in the title game last month at Bowling Green State University. The Tigers are affiliated with the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities (MCBDD).
Led by 28 points from Adam Campbell, the Tigers captured its first hoops title since 2010.
“We won because we played great as a team,” Campbell said. “Everybody on the team helped us win.”
That unselfish play was honored with a gathering last week at Fairhaven School.
So it was only appropriate that the celebration took place on the gym floor — the place where the Tigers’ magic happened.
Local Country-Western Band ‘The Posse’ offered their musical services to the festivities for free, and R. David and Sharon Picken donated the food (that was prepared by Su Wheeler).
The Tigers’ championship season was dedicated to the memory of Savannah Wilson, a teammate who passed away in January 2013. Her mother Jean Hughes helped organize the event, while Savannah’s aunt Pam Gibson took photos.
The Tigers took to the dance floor — where they were joined by MCBDD Superintendent Jim Canney. Dale Jones, a Special Olympic bocce and bowling athlete, sang ‘Amazing Grace’ while being accompanied by the band.
The team started out at 1-5, but picked up momentum as the season went on. As Campbell pointed out, it was a total team effort as the banded together for a 7-6 regular season. The late season surge carried into the postseason as they first defeated Lucas County 59-20 in the semifinal. In that game, 11 different Tigers got into the scoring column.
Members of the Tigers’ Division V State Champion squad include Shaundra Sayre, Bryan Thompson, Shawn Engle, Mike Ellis, Kendra Chapman, Mike Armatrout, Michael Long, Dawn O’Neal, Marlyn Zeeck, Nick Dummitt, Dominique Gonzalez, Marley Long, and Adam Campbell. Coach is Billy Fuller. He is assisted by Roger Campbell and Robin Cunningham served as the statistician.
For more information about Madison County Special Olympics, contact MCBDD Recreation Coordinator Lincoln Comer at (740) 852-7052.