Hot off their wins for Team Skills Basketball at county and area competitions, the 10 student-athletes on the Special Olympics team at Palmetto Senior High are practicing hard for the upcoming state level competition in Mt. Dora the end of January. The relatively new school team has done well since its start three years ago.
“We’ve been to the state level six times,” said Dr. Sandra Tilton, their coach and teacher at PHS. “They’ve won ribbons and medals in Gymnastics, Singles Bowling and Bocce Ball, in addition to Team Skills Basketball.”
The students have made it to state competition in each category at least once, she added.
“These kids are true athletes in every sense of the word,” Pinecrest Councilmember Doug Kraft emphasized at a recent celebration at Palmetto Senior to recognize their achievements. Kraft presented certificates of achievement and Pinecrest lapel pins to each student along with his congratulations and encouragement.
Kraft has been a member the Miami-Dade Special Olympics Executive Committee for many years. He made everyone say “Kraft Macaroni and CHEESE” for the picture taking.
Tilton pointed out that even with all the training her students do, they still maintain A/B grades.
“They are such a great group of students,” Tilton said. “They are really good and they love the strategy involved in sports. It is really exciting and fun to watch them compete.”