Breaking News Bar
updated: 2/6/2012 5:38 PM

Fenton charity game to help Special Olympics team compete at state

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Fenton junior Colin Staffeldt takes a shot in a game against Willowbrook High School's Special Olympics basketball team last month. Fenton's team qualified to compete at the state level in March, and the school is hosting a fundraiser for them Feb. 8.

      Fenton junior Colin Staffeldt takes a shot in a game against Willowbrook High School's Special Olympics basketball team last month. Fenton's team qualified to compete at the state level in March, and the school is hosting a fundraiser for them Feb. 8.
    Courtesy of Fenton High School

  • Fenton High School's Special Olympics basketball team qualified to compete at state this March. They just formed last year, and this is their second state competition.

      Fenton High School's Special Olympics basketball team qualified to compete at state this March. They just formed last year, and this is their second state competition.
    Courtesy of Fenton High School

 

Coach Josh Payton says his team's latest accomplishment "can't be classified as anything short of amazing."

Fenton High School's Special Olympics basketball team formed just last year, yet players already are on their way to their second state championship.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

The coed team from Bensenville will head to Bloomington to compete in the state basketball championships March 16-18 at Illinois State University. The squad qualified last week when it clinched the district championship title.

"To be able to take any group of athletes to state is just a tremendous accomplishment," said Payton, a Fenton special education teacher. "These kids come to practice two to three days a week and work so hard. So it's nice to see them able to go and perform and compete at the state level. It really sets the bar high."

Thirteen players also competed at state last year, but getting there required some help -- and will again this winter.

On Feb. 8, Fenton will host a charity basketball game to raise about $2,000 needed for the team to travel to the tournament. The game will pit Fenton staff members against officials from Bensenville.

And this isn't the only way the Fenton community has helped the team work its way back to state.

Payton said about 15 student volunteers, called peer coaches, are a huge secret to the team's success. Some peer coaches get community service credit for getting involved with the team initially, but Payton said many remain in their roles long after they've earned their grades.

"They are all working with our athletes helping to make sure they get one-on-one attention with their skills," Payton said. "It's been phenomenal to see the connections that are formed. They sit together at lunch, walk the hallways together. I've seen no other school that has that component."

Team point guard Colin Staffeldt, a 17-year-old junior, said the other key to Fenton's strength on the court is his team's cooperation and camaraderie.

"We play so well together," Colin said, adding that he's feeling confident about state.

"I'm not nervous (but) it's exciting," he said. "We are going to do our best to try and win."

Admission to the Feb. 8 fundraiser game, which starts at 6 p.m., is $4. It will be in the front gym at Fenton, 1000 West Green St., Bensenville.

Fenton's Interact Club, a Rotary International service club for students, is organizing the event.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here