Local athletes compete in state Summer Games

Twelve Special Education students proudly represented San Benito CISD at the 2018 Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) Summer Games at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The event is SOTX’s largest competition of the year, featuring more than 3,000 athletes from all around the state of Texas demonstrating their skills in in one of six sports – athletics (track and field), basketball, soccer, tennis, cycling, and gymnastics.

To qualify for the 2018 Summer Games, athletes were required to train for a minimum of eight consecutive weeks in the appropriate sport and also had to compete at their area-level competition in the sport they are participating in.

San Benito athletes participated in basketball individual skills events and, collectively, brought home 12 awards, including five gold, two silver, and one bronze medals. Individual results are the following:

San Benito High School students:

• Rafael Bustos, First Place, Gold

• Estefania Cerda, Second Place, Silver

• Juan David Garcia, First Place, Gold

• Amanda Lopez, First Place, Gold

• Janet Morales, Second Place, Silver

• Frank Torres, Fourth Place

• Billy Jo Vela, Third Place, Bronze

• Angel Villagomez, First Place, Gold

San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy students:

• Amairany Cortez, Fourth Place

• Melvin Manrique, Sixth Place

• Fernando Rodriguez, Sixth Place

• Rudy Segura, First Place, Gold

Special Olympics Coordinator Rick Tamez and coaches Belinda Amaya, Cindy Puente, Ofelia Owens, Maria Cisneros, Davis Ezell, Jesus Zuniga, Omar Carvajal, and Mel Sosa traveled with the student athletes to the summer competition.

Tamez explained, “Our hometown athletes were determined to do their very best to place in this basketball skills event. Overall , they did an outstanding job. They are all winners!”

“I would like to congratulate all the students that participated in the 2018 Summer Games. They have trained hard for the past weeks on their basketball skills. In addition, I would like to thank all the coaches for supporting our students,” added Special Services Director Ernesto Manriquez.

Committed to the Special Olympics motto, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” the local Special Olympics Program empowers special education students to become physically fit, productive, and respected members of society through sports training and competition.

For more information on the school district’s Special Olympics program, contact Tamez at (956) 361-6221.