More than two dozen athletes who are current or former Lewisville ISD students will be competing in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington July 1-6.

Led by Coach Jim Domer, the LISD Special Olympics team departs Saturday morning to spend eight days in the Pacific Northwest representing Lewisville.

Swimmer Sarah Hunter competes with Lewisville ISD Special Olympics. (Photo by TJay Hazel)

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, Special Olympics allows people with intellectual disabilities to find joy, confidence, and fulfillment by competing in sports. The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games offers 14 sports, with events held throughout the Seattle region.  ESPN will provide coverage of the games.

Competing for Lewisville this year are the LISD Lady Lightning basketball team and the Unified Softball Tidal Wave team.  Individual competitors are swimmer Sarah Hunter and golfer Jonathan “Full Blast” Blackmon, who is an LHS Hall-of-fame member.

Jonathan “Full Blast” Blackmon is an LHS Hall-of-Famer and golfer competing in Special Olympics. (Photo by TJay Hazel)

The Lady Lightning are led by coaches Lorraine Throckmorton and Kae Mercer.  Players are Staci Mercer, Stacey Hawkins, Alison Abell, Kellie Wickett, Alandria Rivera, Sarah Wickett, Mariah Toney, Heather Throckmorton, Rachel Elder, Liane Matzenbach, Caylea Damron and Kimberly Corkran.

According to Special Olympics, a unified team combines players with and without intellectual disabilities as a way of promoting social inclusion.  The players have similar ages and athletic abilities, making games more challenging and exciting.

The Unified Softball Tidal Wave team is led by coaches Jim Domer, Alex Dunaj, and Renae Carswell.

Tidal Wave players are Cody Burriss, Nathan Damron, Kelly Steele, Tim Holt, Doug Carr, Issac Dixon, Allen Domer, Tim Burnett, Austin Mornes, Paul Russell, James Emmons, Marty Martinez, David Acevedo, Natalie Carr, Isaiah Dixon and Sean Riely.

Standing: Coach Jim Domer, Cody Burriss, Nathan Damron, Kelly Steele*, Tim Holt, Doug Carr*, Issac Dixon, Allen Domer*, Tim Burnett, Austin Mornes, and Paul Russell*
Kneeling James Emmons*, Marty Martinez, David Acevedo, Natalie Carr*, Isaiah Dixon and Sean Riely.
Not pictured are coaches Alex Dunaj and Renae Carswell
(* Denotes unified partners. Unified Sports bring together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to provide inclusive sports experiences.)

Be sure to follow Lewisville ISD Special Olympics on Facebook.

Cover photo by TJay Hazel

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