Metro-East Living

Special Olympics flag football teams win at state tournament

Justice No. 1 won the championship game in Chicago.
Justice No. 1 won the championship game in Chicago. Special Olympics

Two Special Olympics Flag Football teams from the metro-east placed in the Chicago Park’s District Special Olympics Flag Football Tournament last weekend.

Parent and Teachers of Exceptional Children (PTOEC) is the only program in Southern Illinois that offers Special Olympics flag football to their athletes. They have been practicing at Arnold Field in Belleville since July. They won a regional tournament in Washington, Mo., in August and will play in their last tournament of the season at 9 a.m. Sunday at Trenton City Park in Trenton.

The Justice No. 1 secured a championship gold medal against the Echhart Roadrunners on the last play of the game in Chicago. Quarterback Anthony Cahoon, of Marissa, handed off to Cody Mueller, of Mascoutah, who raced to the corner of the end zone with seven seconds left to give Justice No. 1 a 24-21 victory. They set up their championship run earlier in the day with a 26-0 win over the Shabbona Sharks. Other members of the squad are Jason Gass, Wendy Pfeil and Travis Skiles, of Freeburg; Stacey Morgan, of Swansea; Michael Perrine, of Marissa; Ryan Reinier, of O’Fallon; and Nathan Schwartz, of Columbia.

The Justice No. 2 won third place in a very physical bracket. They lost out on the silver with a 24-18 lost to Norwood Wolverines. The highlight of the game was Alison Roehrig’s 40-yard run for a touchdown. The Mascoutah athlete had just returned to the field after getting hit in the face, which bloodied her nose. Other members of The Justice No. 2 are Jordan Derossett, Jonathan Skortz and Christine Shields, of Belleville; Kenneth Dowdy, of Pocahontas; Kelsey Elder, of Mascoutah; Jennifer Harper, Tyler McDaniel and Lauren Williams, of O’Fallon; Ian Kukorola, of Lebanon, and Michael Stroh, of Smithton.

The teams are coached by Rich Crothers, of Mascoutah; Bob Kolb, of Freeburg; Rich Peppers and James Korba, of Belleville; and Floyd Schwartz, of Columbia.

The teams are preparing this week for their last tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday in Trenton. They are excited to be playing close to home. The Varsity and Junior Varsity Cheerleading squads will be cheering them on throughout the day.