Special Olympics volleyball team wins gold, heads to World Games
FLEMINGTON–The Clinton County Special Olympics Volleyball Team, which brought home the Gold Medal in Division I competition at Villanova University, was honored recently at a banquet dinner at the Red Eye Center.
With the win at Villanova, the team has been selected to be a part of the Special Olympics USA team and participate in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and sits off the mainland on an island in the Persian Gulf.
The athletes and coaches have competed in local events, state events, national, and even international events, bringing a ton of excitement to the county over the years, while producing some of the finest athletes and teams in Pennsylvania.
The athletes who make up the Clinton County Volleyball Team are Holdan Marr, Christopher Smith, Robert Borner Jr., Ronald Smith, Conner Borner, Lee Powers, Jordan Litz, Elainie Litz, and Kathy Marr.
Their coaches are Brad Marr, Charlie Litz, and Sarah Fromknecht.
The banquet started in prayer before everyone was served with heaping plates of chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, salad, and more.
Clinton County Commissioner Jeff Snyder presented the athletes and coaches with a Proclamation of Excellence award on behalf of the county.
“It is with great pleasure and community pride, and on behalf of the citizens of Clinton County, that we do hereby present this Proclamation of Excellence to the volleyball team for their hard work and outstanding achievements this year and for receiving this high honor. Thank you for proudly representing your community. We wish you the best of luck as you compete in the World Games next March,” Snyder said.
The team and coaches are honored to be representing the United States in the World Games.
“We are not playing around. We are taking this seriously…this team has been working their tails off, practicing every Sunday and Thursday. Friends come out and scrimmage and we have been getting a ton of support,” said coach Charlie Litz.
“We went to Delaware for a week of training, and met a lot of the other athletes. We learned a lot from them, some drills, and they learned some things from us. We took the gold medal…we are getting used to taking home gold medals,” Litz gleamed.
“They are finding out it is a lot more work than just practicing. All in all, it has been a really, really fun time. The team is all family, one way or another. One big family… we have been playing volleyball for years. We are going to give it all we got,” he said.
Then, there was cake.
All the athletes and coaches spent a moment to reflect back on their accomplishments and honors.
The 2019 Special Olympics World Games is billed as the largest sporting and humanitarian event in the world in 2019 and will take place from March 14 to March 22.
There will be 7,000 athletes from over 170 countries competing in 24 sports, with 3,000 coaches and 20,000 volunteers, and an expected half a million spectators. It will be televised by major networks.
In fact, the Clinton County volleyball team and their coaches, along with three other individual sports athletes, are the only participants representing Pennsylvania of the 230 US athletes making up the Special Olympics USA team.