WEST ALEXANDRIA — The Preble County Generals continued their losing streak against the relentlessly tough Cougars squad in the fourth annual Preble County Big Dance event. The game, which is a fundraiser for Special Olympics, was held at Twin Valley South High School on Saturday, March 5.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead, and never trailed, crushing the Generals 58-33.
The home team was led by Sidney Hoskins and Alex Day, both whom torched Generals players including Preble County Commissioner Rodney Creech, YMCA Executive Director Josh Haynes, and National Trail Superintendent Jeff Parker – just to name a few.
“It’s a great, fun event. A great way to highlight all the players involved in Special Olympics. It gets the community out and gets them excited with a game like we were able to have today,” said Haynes. “I just think it’s a good platform to get the community together and enjoy the Special Olympians.”
Along with Hoskins and Day, the Cougars squad is also composed of Ricky Birkhead, Katy Bishop, Junior Gambill, Brook Henning, Adam Jackson, Kim Jackson, Kim Mikesell, Brad Mikesell, Chad Mikesell, and Sean Pierce.
They were cheered on by Ellissa Baron, Elizabeth Bresher, Suzie Cottingim, Debbie Heaberlin, Sara Kottke, Lela Lyninger, Heather Nichols, Margie Reckers, and Kali Drewry.
“These Special Olympic athletes are such great people. They get such a lift out of this and look at these community members that are taking a Saturday morning and doing this. It’s just fun to be a part of Preble County when something like this happens,” said Wayne Morrison, the event’s announcer.
The Cougars’ own Hoskins won the most valuable player award on the day because of her outstanding play on the court during the contest. Sarah Kottke took home the spirt award as she helped lead the Cougars’ cheer squad.
Chris Day, a county commissioner, earned the sportsmanship award. He also received a pie in the face at halftime and a technical foul for “bringing those same knees to the court again.”
This is Morrison’s last year as the event’s announcer as well, but he takes away several memories from the last four years.
“Alex (Day) is always fun when he salutes the crowd when he makes a basket, picking on Judge Dues when he used to play, and Chris Day – everybody has a good time,” he said. “I’m going to miss the fun of the day.”
The Generals were also made up of Joe Ferriell (Assistant City Manager and Director of Public Safety for Eaton), Joe Ferriell III (Eaton school teacher), and Denise Robertson (Preble County Commissioner).
The Cougars have a skills team, composed of Eric Bowman, Keith Chappell, Kali Drewry, Jason Gabbard, Shaunda Kinzer, Sarah Kottke, Dan Linton, Nat Miller, and Chad Swindler.
This was another successful season against teams from Darke, Miami, Montgomery and Shelby Counties for the Cougars.
Preble County Special Olympics thanks Wayne Morrison for announcing the game, Amanda Kopf and Bob Combs for officiating and Mara Lovely for leading the National Anthem. Special thanks to Timken, Vintage Wheels Auto Club, Michael Murphy Insurance, the Lewisburg Community Association and the Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities for their continued support.
For more information about Special Olympics and to volunteer, call Corey Mangan at the Preble County Board of DD, 456-5891 ext. 124, or email him at email@example.com.
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.