The Transylvania Times -

Special Olympians Do Well In Charlotte


November 13, 2017

Courtesy Photo

The soccer team members are (left to right front) Riley Williams, Tyler Smith, Eugene Robinson, Bob Molloy, Eric McCall, Darren McCall, Michael Cook, Mandy Buchanan. Back row: Daniel Rothe and Dalton Leopard. (Courtesy photos)

Special Olympics North Carolina held its annual Fall Tournament in Char-lotte Nov. 3-5. Athletes from all across the state competed in basketball, soccer, bocce, golf, roller skating and tennis at various venues in and around Charlotte. This event brings in over 1,000 athletes to compete in these sports. Transylvania County had a team to compete in soccer and a team to compete in soccer skills.

Team members are Avery McKeller, Brittany Rothe, Bob Molloy, Daniel Rothe, Dalton Leopard, Darren McCall, Eric McCall, Eugene Robinson, Jamie Owen, Jonathan McCall, Kim Chamberlain, Laura Newton, Mandy Buchanan, Michael Cook, Michael Ream, Riley Williams, Tyler Smith and Wesley Jamison.

Soccer was held at Colonel Beatty Francis Park. The soccer team played hard in seven total games through the weekend. They played two games on Friday, three on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Out of seven games, they won five. Transylvania brought home a silver medal!

The skills team of eight athletes competed Saturday in various drills such as: kick and run, shooting and dribbling. These athletes were also placed in competition against other athletes of equal ability on Saturday morning.

The fundamental difference between Special Olympics competitions and those of other sports organizations is that athletes of all ability levels are encouraged to participate and every athlete is recognized for his/her performance. Competitions are structured so that athletes compete with other athletes of similar ability in equitable divisions.

Courtesy Photo

Skills Team are front row, left to right: Laura Newton, Kim Chamberlain, Brittany Rothe, Avery McKeller and Michael Ream. Back row left to right: Wesley Jamison, Jamie Owen, and Jonathan McCall.

Athletes train for a minimum of eight weeks with an average one-two practices per week. Sports competition is available for eligible athletes 8 years old and older, and there is no age limit.

Every four years, Special Olympics holds a national competition for Special Olympics athletes from across the United States. The next USA Games will take place in 2018 in Seattle, Wash.

On Saturday after competition, all athletes of all sports attended a dance and Olympic Town.

Transportation for the teams was assisted by TVS, and Bojangles provided breakfast to see them off on Friday.

You can follow the teams on their Facebook page: Transylvania County Special Olympics. If you are interested in coaching, volunteering, or participating in Special Olympics, visit


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