Diocesan News

Villa Marie School advances to state Special Olympics

Basketball team to defend title April 7; three students to participate in individual skills

LINCOLN (SNR) – The basketball team and individual skill competitors from Villa Marie School for Exceptional Children in Waverly participated in the regional Special Olympics competition at Lincoln High School Feb. 17. 

The 3-on-3 basketball team won both their games and advance to the state competition at NorthStar High School in Lincoln April 7. The team consists of Luke Bartek, Kurtis Bishop, Colton Lofton, Ty Lynch, Matt Merwick, Scout Pierce, Sam Schmieding and Emma Storonskij. The volunteer coaches are Matt Jilek and Greg Gibney.

“The kids work really hard preparing for the competitions, and they want the opportunity to defend their state championship title,” said Jelinek.

The Villa Marie Eagles won the Special Olympics state basketball tournament in April 2017. The school won a state title in 2014 in a different age bracket, but last year they participated in an open division with participants ranging in age from 12-60.

Individual skill competitors Rosalyiah Gayton, Joshua Gress and Charlie Preister demonstrated their skills in dribbling, passing and shooting baskets, and all three also earned the opportunity to go to state.

New uniforms for the basketball program are on the school’s wish list to have before state competition. People who would like to donate toward uniforms can send a check to Villa Marie School, Attn: Jenny Allamby-Uniforms, 7205 N 112th, Waverly, NE 68462 or contact Jenny Allamby, executive director of development and advancement, at 402-874-0577.

Villa Marie Home and School for Exceptional Children, located between Lincoln and Waverly, serves qualifying students who are in need of special educational services. Villa Marie was founded by Msgr. James Dawson and has been in operation since 1964.

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