Special Olympians compete at state event

Brooke County Special Olympians were among about 700 athletes who competed at the West Virginia Special Olympics Summer Games, June 7-9, in Charleston, and brought home many medals and ribbons.

The event began with opening ceremonies and a parade at Haddad Riverfront Park. Danny Adams and Kay Ferrari carried the Brooke County Special Olympics banner, and Heather Ambrose carried the Olympic torch.

Jenna Sperringer accepted a new bocce ball set that was presented in memory of her father, Bill Furioli, who served as director of the Brooke County program for 26 years until his death early this year.

Furioli’s daughter, Sara – a long-time volunteer coach for the program – has taken over as director.

Winning medals or ribbons in the track and field events were: Matt Elcesser, a gold and two silvers; Ferrari, a gold and two bronze; Jeremy Janura, two silvers; Mike Staats, a silver and ribbons for fourth and fifth place; Mindy Williams, a gold and fourth place ribbon; Josh Zonker, a gold and fourth place ribbon; and David Mendrick, a silver and fifth place ribbon.

Sperringer served as their coach.

In the bocce singles competition, Marie Kosut garnered a gold medal and Ambrose, Edward Kosut, Priscilla Dugan, Lesly Schwertfeger and Mark Lauck received bronze medals.

In the doubles competition, Marie Kosut and Schwertfeger earned silver medals, Ambrose and Dugan garnered bronze medals and Lauck and Ed Kosut received a fourth place ribbon.

They were coached by Laura Henthorn and Cathy Furioli.

Golfers Danny Adams, B.J. Griffin and Jimmy Hunter garnered silver medals, and Andrew Rager and Steven Boley earned gold medals. Earl Hunter is their coach.

Breanna Vanderpool represented the Brooke High School Special Olympics Support Club, serving as a chaperone and coach’s assistant.

Special Olympics coordinators expressed appreciation to all who have supported the program.