Four Clark County basketball teams win Special Olympic regional gold

Six teams advance to state tournament



Fifteen Basketball teams from Clark County competed at the Special Olympics Washington Southwest Regional Tournament on Feb. 12 in Bremerton. Gold-medal winning teams from Clark County were the Bobcats, Cougars, Pirates and the Wizards. Six basketball teams advanced to the state tournament that was held March 2-4 in Wenatchee.

The Bobcats won gold medals. Their players were Justin Dalton, Mariah Davis, Dennis Dole Jr., Cole Gaddis, Lizzy McIntyre, Chad Poissant, Kat Sanders, jason Sorenson, Fiona Wimber, Bryanna Zychowicz, and Schuyler Zychowicz. The head coach was Brandi Zychowicz assisted by Andrea Dole.

The Cougars won gold medals. Their players were Sharisse Aichele, Kevynn Bogart, Becky Johnson, Lawrence Joslin, Michael Krecklow, Heidi Moss, Chris Rector, Robert Schmitz, Samantha Spencer, Sean Starr, and Aundrew Virelles. The head coach was Jason Scott assisted by Christina Lanham

The Pirates won gold medals. Their players were David Balas, Kevin Brown, Carl Crosiar, Greg Martino, Grant Richard, Mark Samples, Michael Torres, and Ana Marie Vonkaenel. Their coach was Gary Haliski.

The Wizards won gold medals. Their players were Michael Bronson, Michael Cook, Nathan Ellis, Russ Jones, Alberto Rivera, Cory Robak, Luke Smith, Ivan Soltero, and Andrew Stekhuizen. The head coach was Audrey Stekhuizen assisted by Bryan Cook.

The Bulldogs won silver medals. Their players were Adam Barr, Jason Downey, Peter Li, Sam McIntyre, David Meliza, Levi Neil, Scott Shivvers, Eric Stage, Michael Vanoni, and Ally Warner. Their head coach was Rick Cook, assisted by Jon Wimber.

The Flying Eagles won silver medals. Their players were Diana Bartusek, Aaron Cook, Sam Dost, Cavin Ertler, Shawn Hassig, Paul Kotz, Thomas Kukkola, Jacob Lattanzi, Katie Murray, and Tim Younger. Their head coach was Dennis Huck assisted by Lexie Montgomery.

The Wildcats won silver medals. Their players were Alex Ables, Matt Baker, Jordon Brown, Chad Cline, Doug McPherson, Anthony Nugent, Kyle Reinhart, and Evertt Smith. The head coach was Ralph Heiser assisted by Adam McCarty

The Vancouver Terriers won silver medals. Their players were Jeremy Descloux, Antonio Guijjaro, Moniquea Harvey, Ashley Medlock, Mariia Preciado, Cesar Sanchez, Patrick Saturay, and Cassioe Tracy. The head coach was Ron Sparatlen assisted by Chris Newell

The Rollin Cats won bronze medals. Their players were Tina Colantuono, Jeremy Haliski, Glenda Huhtala, Susan Kunkel, Charles Rymer, Lori Steed, and Tiffany Torres. The head coach was Teresa Haliski assisted by Debi Richard.

The Falcons coached by Emily Hamilton won bronze medals in a youngest age division. Their players’ names were not provided.

The Bear Cats earned fourth-place ribbons. Their players were Jim Byers, Adam Calkin, David Cralley, Ron Gibbie, Joshua Holmes, Dusty Lang, Shaydah Nasseri, Mike Potts, and Bill Sheadel. The coach was Mary Huck.

The Blue Sonics took fourth place. Their players were Rachel Akins, Danny Baragary, Jason Baumgartner, Chelsea Baxter, Jonathan Boyles, Karen Carrico, Tim Cook, Joseph Dawson, Matt Folkerts, and John Veals. The head coach was Elizabeth Francis, assisted by Aaron Smith

The Trail Blazers won fourth place. Their players were Jerrod Crowson, Casey Ellison, Craig Francis, Kelly Jeans, Alyssa Kwak, Lauren Milam, Brandon Smith, Michael Suire, Alex Trimble, and Jackie Winters. The head coach was Billi Jo Smith assisted by Scott Milam

The Rebels took fifth place. Their players were Krista Downey, Kenda Eaton, Marissa McCollum, Lea Mulligan, Tina Murphy, Cassie Nugent, and Hannah Wampach. Their coach was Sylvia Downey.

Participating in individual basketball skills were Crissy Gelerd, and Sarah Lasco. They were coached by Jayne King and Joanne Coelo.

Anyone interested in Special Olympics is invited to a meeting at noon on Saturday, March 10th at Pied Piper Pizza, 12300 N.E. Fourth Plain Road. Spring sports include: swimming, track and field, cycling, power lifting, and soccer. Individuals 8 and older with intellectual disabilities are encouraged to participate. New athletes are tested and placed on teams depending on their skill level. Practices take place in Clark County. For more information please contact Rick Cook by email at