Members, coaches and administrative staff of the Fayette County Dragons Special Olympics basketball team visited the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday to be honored for their recent state title victory.
The Dragons captured the Special Olympics Division II tournament title with a 59-38 win over the Darke County Dawgs this year on Saturday, March 24 in Dover. This was the first state title the program had managed to secure since it began about seven years ago. The victory was celebrated once again on Wednesday at the Ohio Statehouse as State Rep. Gary Scherer and State Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) both recognized the team with two different resolutions.
“It is a great honor like this, it really is, not even just for them but for me too,” Fayette County Dragons head coach Brandon Runk said. “For these (officials) to invite us up here and to have a day like this, these guys put in a lot of work and deserve everything they get. From the first day of my first practice ever, when I walked in they said ‘We wanna win a state title.’ So it has been the goal since day one, I have had that pressure since day one, and there were moments I didn’t think it was achievable. With all of the work and the laps they have had to run, it has come full circle. It has all been awesome. It is amazing to be able to bring them to the Ohio Statehouse and treat them to this kind of day. Some of these guys wouldn’t get to come here normally, I haven’t been here before so just to get this resolution and to have a day about these guys, it is pretty awesome.”
In both resolutions, which were presented to the team in front of the Ohio Senate and in the Ohio House, the state officials talked about the dedication and hard work it took for the team to achieve the state victory. With particular details about their opponent and the score of the game, the resolutions were framed and given to Runk to take back home as memories of their experience.
“It is a great feeling (to bring the team to the Ohio Statehouse), because for most of these guys this is the first time they have been to a place like this,” Tim Stewart, Community First Coordinator/Special Olympics coordinator for the Fayette County Board of DD, said during the trip Wednesday. “You can just tell from their expressions this is something really awesome and really something they will never forget. It is just an honor to be here with them and be invited to come up here. It is something I never thought we would do, so it is pretty cool to actually bring them up here and show them off a little bit, they deserve it. Definitely a big thanks to representative Gary Scherer and Senator Bob Peterson. I just think it is awesome they reached out to us and invited us to come and experience something like this.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy