The San Antonio area has produced all sorts of athletes. Some elite, some not so much, but the city always supports its athletes and now there’s a new team that will be representing the Alamo City on the big stage.
It’s kind of like the World Series of Special Olympics softball.
“I play in the outfield. When the ball is hit in the air and I catch the ball and get people out,” Glyndon Warren said.
“I can hit the ball pretty good. Not over the fence, I can hit it over the third baseman’s head,” Cody Gustafson noted.
“Love playing shortstop a lot. I’m really good at it,” Kegan Williams bragged.
Glyndon, Cody, and Kegan are just a few of the stars that play for the Best Friends Special Olympics softball team. They’re the epitome of a team, each bringing their own strengths and weaknesses. And, most of all, they have each other’s back.
“I love my team very much,” Kegan said.
The players range in age from 18 to 54 and Monday was their last practice before heading off to the Special Olympics North America Championship, which will be a 22-hour bus drive to North Dakota.
“It’s once-in-a-lifetime that they get to go someplace and travel, see the country. Many of them would never get outside of Texas, let alone San Antonio,” Coach Shirley Johnson said.
Coach Shirley said that when the team first formed, some players couldn’t even catch a ball, but now they’re ready to showcase their skills in front of the country.
“Ruben has cerebral palsy, we have some with down syndrome, we have neurological ones, we have ones that have birth defects,” Coach Shirley noted.
And despite all of that, the team is proving to everyone that they can play ball just like anyone else.
“No, I’m not nervous. If we don’t win, we tried. If we don’t win, we tried our best,” Cody said.
“I have a rule on our team: I flat refuse to say no to anybody. Everybody’s welcomed,” Coach Shirley said. “Special Olympics, to me, is showing the world these people can do things.”