It was an amazing weekend for the Whitman-Hanson Special Olympics basketball team, led by head coach Jake Galewski, and coaches, Donna Pacheco, Jill Kain, and Marsha Baglole. The team qualified for the 2015 State Winter Games, a huge achievement for W-H. The team includes Captains Elizabeth Wheeler and Thomas Musto, Bridget Edwards, Richard Franklin, Laura Remedis, Devin Giles, Allison Arthur, Aidan George, and Tynan Gainey. The team has performed very well this season and many of the athletes have improved their skills and confidence in sport of basketball.
Elizabeth Wheeler and Thomas Musto have really held the team together this season with their determination and will to succeed. Their experience and knowledge of the game makes them great role models for the younger, inexperienced players. In the State Qualifying Tournament, Whitman-Hanson performed very well under tough and new competition. W-H played three games in a row and fought hard through fatigue, comebacks, and difficult opponents. The team placed third earning a bronze medal and a qualifying spot for the State Winter Games.
Bridget Edwards, Allison Arthur, and Laura Remedis have continuously grown this season and have become better players. This is Bridget's first season with the basketball team, she has worked very hard to understand the game and work to get better. Devin Giles is very versatile player on the court, his ability to make steals and initiate fast-break opportunities was very effective in the games. Aidan George performed very well at the State Qualifying Tournament, his rebounding abilities over aggressive opponents really aided in the teams success.
An additional recognition goes to Ricky Franklin for his tremendous team support. Ricky not only displays great talent, he also demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship and leadership skills on and off the court. His ability to provide opportunities for his teammates to shine is admirable. Ricky rises to the occasion and is a true team player.
I take great pride in coaching the Special Olympics team. The athletes of the Whitman-Hanson Special Olympics team are true competitors, and some of the most hard working and inspirational individuals I have ever met.The team goes on the road to Worcester, MA March 7th and 8th where they will face teams from all over Massachusetts and play for the gold.