Santa Barbara sends 70 to Special Olympics’ Fall Games

Team SB United won a Gold Medal at the 2013 Fall Games.

The SB United Soccer Team won a Gold Medal at the 2013 Fall Games.

More than 2,000 athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators came together on Dec. 14 and 15 for Special Olympics Southern California?s annual Fall Games at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center and Sports Park, the Fountain Bowl and The Rinks in Irvine.

Seventy athletes from Santa Barbara competed in Bowling, Floor Hockey, Soccer, Softball and Tennis, accompanied by their team coaches. Athletes train locally every weekend for 12 weeks, and attend two competitions in preparation for the Fall Games slots. The weekend also includes Healthy Athlete screenings provided by volunteer medical professionals including dental, vision, foot care, and physical fitness screenings. Athletes also attend a Saturday night dance, a favorite for everyone.

Gold medals went to the SB United soccer team, who went undefeated in their division, winning under the guidance of Coaches Jane Beiner, Brian Medel and Jerry Siegel. Says long time coach Jerry Siegel, ?after a difficult season, our Soccer team was proud to see their hard work pay off at these important games.?

Santa Barbara?s Floor Hockey teams, the Dolphins and the Penguins had a great weekend of competition led by seasoned Coaches Jaime Rutiaga and Tim Powers along with their Assistant Coach Angie Fitzgerald. The Dolphins took home a gold medal in their division, with athlete Abraham Moreno top scorer, while the Penguins earned bronze medals.

The Bowling Team, SB Lucky Strikes, with athletes Lisa Adkins, Nannette Clark and Cristian Quintanar, received a gold medal for their incredible team effort. Cristian Quintanar was an outstanding athlete in his division of individual bowling, taking home a gold medal. First time coaches Daniella Florant, Cori Gacad, Tadeh Ghadimi and Leti Lemus enjoyed the event as well as coaching over 30 bowlers every Sunday morning at Zodos.

Tennis team athletes Beverly Cooper, Jolie De L?Arbre, Chris Evans, Elsa Fryer, Steve Glick, Marilyn Parks, Amy Petersons and Zach Skaggs all brought home Silver and Bronze Medals during their singles and doubles competitions. Fall Games coaches Leah Simpson and Sue Evans encouraged their tennis athletes to do their best against the tough competition, with head coach

Sue McCue leading athletes throughout the season.

The softball competition was tough this year and the Santa Barbara Softball Team fought hard to snag a bronze medal. Softball Coaches Jim Callahan, Aaron Brown, Kelsey Moss and Joey Ochoa were great mentors for the softball team and helped athletes implement the techniques they have learned in practices.

?The Fall Games Championship is an exciting opportunity for the public to see our inspiring athletes compete and be impressed by their talents and courage,? said Sara Spataro, Special Olympics Santa Barbara Region Director.