Oct 09, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Seven student-athletes from Burton Street Elementary School took to the athletic fields last week to participate in track and field competitions in this year’s Madison-Oneida BOCES Special Olympics Autumn Games at Canastota High School.
Sage Byrnes, Kodi Callahan, Ian Decker, Zach Streeter, Connor Wilcox, Connor Zampetti and Anna Linck joined 250 other athletes from nine other districts in Madison and Oneida counties to compete in track and field events including the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter dash, shot put, running and standing long jump and a softball throw. The event also includes Adaptive Games for athletes not able to compete in traditional events.
The 260 athletes were joined by 100 volunteers who helped run events and assisted athletes in getting to their events on time. For the Cazenovia team, Cazenovia High School students Joe Zambito, Andrew Vogl, Carter Biviano, Trevor Cross, Noah King and Jessie Matt volunteered to be the student-athletes’ assistants.
The event began with all the teams marching into the Canastota track complex by school delegation in the traditional Parade of Athletes and Opening Ceremonies. The parade was led by the Canastota Marching Band, and the Canastota Select Choir sang the National Anthem.
“We have so much to celebrate today,” MOBOCES Education Coordinator Laurie Ann Ross, a longtime Special Olympics organizer, said before officially opening the event. “This is a day of excitement, laughter and, most of all, fun.”
The athletes then all recited the Special Olympics oath — “Let me win, but if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt” – and the games began.
Caz athletes Connor Wilcox and Connor Zampetti both participated in the standing long jump and 100-meter dash and won ribbons for their efforts. Both said they had a lot of fun.
“Connor is very excited about this,” said Victor Zampetti, Connor’s father, who was on hand to watch and cheer for his son. “This is our first time. The kids are doing great.”
“This is a great opportunity for these kids to get out, have fun and show their abilities,” said Sean Condon, Burton Street PE teacher and Cazenovia team coordinator. Cazenovia has not participated in the M-O BOCES Special Olympics in many years, but when Condon received an email that the games were being prepared, “I decided to take it head-on. I wanted to give these kids the opportunity,” he said.
Condon refused to take all the credit, and said the Burton Street special education teachers, teaching assistants and numerous others helped him along the way. The Cazenovia team’s T-shirts also were printed and donated by local business Price T, owned by Nate Hoak.
“This is the first time in a long time we’ve gone and I’m really glad they did; it’s good for everybody,” said Cazenovia CSD Superintendent Bob Dubik. “I look forward to us participating every year.”
Event volunteers included M-O BOCES Career and Technical Education students from Engineering Science, Equine and Animal Science, Allied Health Partnership and the Student Leadership Group. M-O BOCES Early Childhood Education students set up and ran the Olympic Village, which had a variety of crafts and games for athletes and spectators to participate in between events.
For more information and photos, visit the Madison-Oneida BOCES website at moboces.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.