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Posted on: October 17, 2019

Holt Rams Special Olympics Wins Gold at the 2018 USA Games

special olympics wins gold

The Delhi Township Board of Trustees recognized the Holt Rams Special Olympics Unified Flag Football Team at its Oct. 15 board meeting for bringing home the gold medal in the 2018 USA Games. Competing as Team Michigan, 10 athletes from Holt and Mason beat Team Minnesota 18-12 on a last second hail Mary pass to Mitchell Johnson as time expired. “We are very proud of Team Michigan for their success at the 2018 USA Games,” said Mark Jenks, Delhi Township parks director. “Their championship sign will be on display on Cedar Street south of Willoughby, Aurelius Road south of Willoughby, and on Holt Road east of Waverly alongside Holt’s other championship team banners for the entire community to see.”

The Holt Rams Unified Flag Football Team qualified for the 2018 USA Games after winning gold in 2017 in Michigan. Team Michigan, coached by Sally Meade, Carl Meirndorf and Val Suszko, played together for four years before winning gold in 2018. Players include:

  • Thomas Arra
  • Jacob Dibean
  • Johnathan Dreysse
  • Jacob Fluke
  • Bryan Hull
  • Mitchel Johnson
  • Bradley Moore, Jr.
  • Bryce Moore
  • Morgan Rockwell
  • Josh Swenson

The Special Olympics USA Games is a national competition hosted every three years. The next USA games will take place in 2021. In 2018, more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing all 50 state programs competed in 14 team and individual sports. Unified flag football is a five-on-five version of traditional football. Teams competing in the USA games feature a mix of players with and without intellectual disabilities. “Unified sports, like flag football, help break down stereotypes about students with intellectual disabilities,” said Val Suszko, Special Olympics coordinator at Holt High School. “That’s the amazing thing about sports. It brought these 10 young men together to compete for a common goal.” 

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