Local Special Olympics team to host first informal meet

The New Albany Special Olympics team will host its first informal track meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14, in the New Albany High School football stadium.

“It’s more like an informal, fun thing,” said Amy Thomas, founder of the local Special Olympics team.

Thomas said the New Albany and Westerville Special Olympics teams will practice together and team members have the chance to earn ribbons.

“People can come and watch and cheer them on,” she said.

Thomas said the June 14 meet will prepare the New Albany team for the state meet, which will be held June 23 and 24 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University.

Thomas organized the New Albany Special Olympics team in January 2011 as a nonprofit organization. The organization is part of Special Olympics Ohio.

In her first annual report, Thomas wrote, “New Albany Special Olympics fits well with the growing image of New Albany as a healthy community.

“For children and adults with intellectual disabilities, New Albany Special Olympics provides an opportunity to get involved, improve their physical fitness, be part of a team and experience the thrill of winning.”

New Albany Special Olympics works with ages 8 and older in track and field events, bowling and swimming.

Thomas said in 2011, she had 10 to 12 on the team. For the team’s second year, she has 20 athletes and 80 volunteers who help with events and practices.

Thomas said many children and adults with special needs are not able to compete in athletics events.

“They certainly get to enjoy the feel of winning,” she said of the team members who have participated in events.

She said some team members had shied away from the finish line because they feared the cheers that awaited them.

“To see them grow, especially the autistic kids, they kind of come out of their shell,” she said.

In her annual report, Thomas wrote, “Special Olympics provides continual opportunities to develop physical fitness and experience the joy and challenge of competition.

“Athletes develop new skills and form new friendships. They learn to set higher goals for themselves and in working to achieve them, (they) gain self-confidence and self-respect.

“This increased sense of self-worth carries over into other areas of their lives and has a profound effect on athletes’ families.”

Thomas said the New Albany Special Olympics team found support in the community and gained awareness by participating in the Founders Day and Fourth of July parades.

The team worked with local businesses and individuals, who helped support attendance at sanctioned events.

Thomas said Special Olympics Ohio requires each nonprofit to raise funds and pay entry fees for athletes who participate in events.

New Albany elementary school fourth-graders also shared profits from their Entrepreneur Day, in which the students created a product and tried to sell it to community members during a business unit at the school.

“Since two or three of our athletes are fourth-graders, they were giving back to their classmates,” Thomas said.

According to the New Albany-Plain Local Schools District, the fourth-graders raised $13,000 from Entrepreneur Day this year and donated the money to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State, New Albany Special Olympics, the Stefanie Spielman Breast Cancer Research Fund at Ohio State and the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society.
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High-school baseball All-Ohio, All-Conference teams

Area first team: Catcher: Matt Smith (Johnstown). Outfield: Zach Ratcliff (Columbus Academy). Area second team: Catcher: Ronnie Thomas (Northmor). Outfield: Matt Smith (Fredericktown). Area second team: Pitcher: Jimmy Lough (Newark Catholic).
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Johnstown’s Colvin keeps her cool in taking fifth in high jump at D-II state

Johnstown’s Kendall Colvin competes in the high jump during the Division II state meet Friday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

COLUMBUS — Cool temperatures and a steady rain during much of Friday appeared to be a bad recipe for Johnstown’s Kendall Colvin.

The junior, who often calls her mind-set her biggest hurdle, persevered during her first trip to the Division II state meet. She overcame what at times were treacherous conditions to tie for fifth in the high jump at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

“I had to adjust according to the weather. I just had to be prepared,” Colvin said. “It was all in my head. I had to keep my head straight and not let nerves take over.”

Colvin cleared 5-feet-2, tying with two others, and she finished behind two others on misses. Only two cleared 5-4.

Most of the field, including Colvin, cleared 4-10 and 5-0 without incident. The rain started at 5-2, and Colvin cleared it on her third attempt. Only eight cleared 5-2, guaranteeing Colvin a medal.

“We had a lot of talks about making sure her head was in the game, making sure she was relaxed, taking deep breaths,” Johnstown coach Brad Orr said. “I told her, ‘Let me be nervous. You just go compete.'”
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Graduation Party

Are you having a graduation party this year? You can give your high school or college graduate a party that will be the highlight of their achievement. Whether it’s a small get together or a large bash, its success is in the planning. Call our catering staff at Eagles Villa Pizza, we can help, or visit our catering page for more information.

 

 

Woods letter / Civil War

Saturday, July 23, 1864

Dear friend Munson, it has been a long time since I had heard from you before, but I am glad to hear from you and to hear that you was well. It found me enjoying a very good health. We are putting the shell into the Rebs this morning and now and then they give us one but we have got used to that. We don’t care no more for them than we do for a lot of little boys, they do the wildest throwing shells that I ever saw, they will get them too high or too low shells too. You wrote in your last letter that you was a shooting squirrels and you said you supposed I was shooting Rebs, you are right on that for we made a charge and then halted and laid in line of battle all day and they throw shells at us all day but didn’t do much harm. I was laying behind a pile of rails and I looked way out in a big field that I was behind in the words and I saw the weeds and brush a moving along and they got closer all the time.   (READ MORE)

Memorial Day 1929

Memorial Day has always been honored in the Johnstown area. Our township and surrounding towns have sent many young men off to war, and currently there are many serving. Memorial Day in the spring is when area cemeteries were usually cleaned and trimmed, flags put on the graves of soldiers and so on. Many see it as the day to honor all Veterans but its intent was to honor those who have passed before. Veterans Day is the day to honor those with us. This Memorial Day take time out of your schedule to visit an area cemetery, you will enjoy the day.  Also take a moment and look back in time as Villa offers a Civil War letter from Johnstown resident Sovain Wood who served with the 18th U.S. Infantry. We have scanned a 1929 Memorial Day program also, enjoy!  (READ MORE)

Three girls qualify for track regional

According to Northridge High School coach Gene Weil, reaching a regional track and field meet takes effort and confidence, but the ratio of those factors changes when an athlete attempts to qualify for state.

Three members of the Vikings girls team tried to do just that when they competed in the Division II regional that concluded May 26 at Lexington. The top four finishers in each event advanced to the state meet Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State.

 

“I think track is probably 60 percent physical and 40 percent mental,” said Weil, who is in his first season at Northridge but has coached cross country and track for more than 30 years at the high school and college levels. “But when you get to that (regional) level, it’s so much mental. Everyone there has talent, so you’re not going to get any stronger or faster, but it becomes more upstairs.”

 

Junior Caitlyn Tulloss, sophomore Hayley Menix and freshman Ellie Shedloski advanced to regional after finishing in the top four in the district 1 meet that concluded May 19 at Westerville South.

 

Menix finished third in the long jump (15 feet, 2 3/4 inches) and fourth in the high jump (4-10). Shedloski was fourth in the long jump (15-2 3/4) and Tulloss placed fourth in the 400 meters (1 minute, 1.61 seconds).

 

“I want competitors (on the team), and these girls have shown me that they are competitors,” said Weil, whose team finished eighth in district 1 with 28 points as 13 teams scored and Granville (176.5) was champion. “Caitlyn dropped her time by two seconds (at district) and really had a great performance.”


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Shooter Eller clinches fourth Olympic bid

2008 Olympic gold medalist Glenn Eller clinched his fourth Olympic bid in shotgun double trap Saturday, beating U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit teammate Jeff Holguin of Yorba Linda, Calif., at USA Shooting’s Olympic Trials in Tucson, Ariz.

Eller hit 49 of 50 targets in the final round and totaled 609 of 650 total targets in events this week and last fall in Kerrville. Holguin, a 2008 Olympian, totaled 603, and Billy Crawford of Johnstown, Ohio, was third at 601.

Army Marksmanship Unit member Josh Richmond of Hillsgrove, Pa., qualified earlier for the Olympics, and Eller won an additional berth secured by USA Shooting through the International Shooting Sports Federation.

“After the gold medal there’s nowhere to go but down, so I fell, stumbled and hung around down there for awhile and slowly eased my way back, but that’s what it’s all about, though,” he said. “Now, I have the opportunity to go back and win another one.”

2008 Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock of Eatonton, Ga., leads in men’s skeet, which concludes Sunday. B.J. Blanchard of Vidor is tied for third, 12 shots off the lead, and Dustin Perry of Lovelady is 13 behind.

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