Lincoln-Way Hosts 14th Annual Special Games
Monday, March 16, 2015

Hundreds of students from twelve area high schools participated in the 14th annual Special Games held at Lincoln-Way Central on March 12.

The opening ceremony began with a parade of student athletes, each representing their schools Special Games theme with their spirit wear and battle cries. ROTC members presented the colors and Lincoln-Way Central Choral Director Mike Bultman sang the National Anthem.

The opening ceremony is really a powerful demonstration of the support our students have for their classmates with special needs, said Mary Harrison, Lincoln-Way Special Services Director.

The crowd cheered as Lincoln-Way Central student Stephen Gillooley carried in the ceremonial torch to help kick off the Olympic-themed event. Lincoln-Way Central senior Megan Swallow is a student leader in the Adaptive Physical Education class and is paired to help Gillooley.

Stephen told me that it is his favorite day of the year. He had the biggest smile on his face all day, Swallow said. This year was even better than last. The parade is fun because students line the hallways and cheer for the athletes. There is so much school spirit and we are all excited to be there.

Ive grown a bond with all of the students in my Adaptive P.E. Class, Swallow said. Being with Stephen and the other students in the program -- there is nothing else I want to do. I will major in Special Education at Illinois State University because of this class.

After the opening ceremony, student athletes participated in four rounds of games, including Frisbee golf, beanbag toss, football throw, lasso golf, sprints, hockey, and more.

Students at each school made an Olympic-size banner with their schools theme to contribute to the Special Games spirit wall.

Awards were announced during the closing ceremony, including:

Relay Team 1
1st Place: Homewood Flossmoor
2nd Place: Joliet
3rd Place: Lincoln-Way North

Relay Team 2
1st Place: Joliet
2nd Place: Bradley Bourbonnais
3rd Place: Lincoln-Way West

Mascot Race: Lincoln-Way East

Spirit Wall:
Gold: Lincoln-Way Central
Silver: Bolingbrook
Bronze: Lockport

Spirit Stick: Lockport

The enthusiasm for this event continues to grow each year, said Lincoln-Way Central Physical Education teacher Maggie Jager who with Mary Harrison came up with the idea for Special Games. Its a great reflection of the caring environment at Lincoln-Way and it gives all of our students an opportunity to shine.