Source: Sherman Publications

Special Olympians pack the stands

March 26, 2014

By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

There wasn’t much time to sit at the Lake Orion/Oxford Special Olympics basketball game.

With the drum line banging, dance teams rallying and basketball stars hustling up and down the court, teachers and students alike were on their feet gasping at close shots and yelling support to the players during the game.

The Dragons faced the Oxford Wildcats on Thursday, March 20 and gave it every ounce of strength they had.

Lake Orion narrowly lost by a score of 24-20.

“They played as a team. Tthey had a lot of fun. They always do,” Coach Jim MacDonald said. “The first practice of the season is, ‘when’s the big game?’”

Students shook home-made signs, teachers showed off their skills at a halftime session of musical-free-throw-chairs, and everyone ‘ooohed’ and ‘ahhhed’ as the Piston Stunt Team delivered a high-air slam dunk show before the third quarter.

The parents of the Special Olympians were nearly as excited as their players.

“He’s been so excited. He loves playing this game. Loves it,” Shelly Krueger said, of her son, Tyler. Tyler Krueger attended LOHS last year and was found catching up with all of his old buddies between playtime.

“As a parent it is truly unbelievable to watch your kid out there. Your special needs child, playing a game and the whole school is watching. It’s amazing,” Shelly Krueger said.

Everyone in the crowd participated in one way or another.

This year for charity week, LOHS Student Leadership created the “Miracle Minute” where a little bucket was passed around in each student section to collect as many dollars as possible, in one minute. Their goal was $2,600, which they came close to with $1,742.03. All donated money went to Blessings in a Backpack.

“I love that the whole school comes out, it was a full house. I think the kids in the stands like it just as much as we do,” MacDonald said.

Photos by Meg Peters