The Pearland Saints will compete in the annual Special Olympics North America (SONA) Softball Championship Aug. 17-20 in Bismarck, ND.

Pearland Saints to play in softball championship

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The Pearland Saints will compete in the annual Special Olympics North America (SONA) Softball Championship Aug. 17-20 in Bismarck, ND.

The Pearland Saints will compete in the annual Special Olympics North America (SONA) Softball Championship Aug. 17-20 in Bismarck, ND.

The Pearland Saints will be one of two teams from the state of Texas that will compete in the annual Special Olympics North America (SONA) Softball Championship, being held Aug. 17-20 in Bismarck, ND.

Led by coach Raymond Rocha, the Pearland Saints, will be making a third-straight trip to the SONA Softball Championship. In 2015, the Saints returned home from Wichita, KS with the gold medal. Last year, the group came back from Roanoke Valley, VA with a 4th place finish. The Best Friends delegation (San Antonio) will be the only other team representing the Lone Star State in this year’s event.

The 2017 Pearland Saints team includes: Gabriel Cantu (Baytown), Wisdom Chenevert, Franklin Cullen (Dickinson), Christopher Ray DeLeon (Houston), Calvin Dixon (Sweeny), John Lakey, Jason Lane (Pearland), Freddie Lee Matthews (Brazoria), Jeffrey Ramsey (Pearland), Victor Resendez (Pearland), Donovan Roesler (Pearland), Joshua Sherwood and Michael Utley (Pearland).

The SONA Softball Championship is a test of skill designed to give Special Olympics softball players from North America a chance to compete in a tournament setting. More than 400 athletes and Unified partners comprising 25 teams from throughout the United States and Canada will be competing in the sport of softball in Special Olympics traditional team and Unified Sports (people with and without intellectual disabilities playing as teammates) formats.

Teams will travel to Bismarck Thursday, Aug, 17 and the event will officially begin Friday, Aug. 18 at 8:00 a.m. with a Walk of Champions and Ceremonial 1st Pitch at Clem Kelley Softball Complex. The Opening Ceremony will be held that evening at Municipal Ballpark. Competition will run approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with medal rounds on Sunday, Aug. 20.

Special Olympics Softball emphasizes teamwork, physical fitness and strategic thinking – benefits and skills found on the playing field that Special Olympics athletes use as part of being active, contributing members of their communities. Currently, more than 94,000 Special Olympics athletes are participating in the sport globally, including 63,000 in North America.

The four-day event will consist of additional special events for participants, including an Opening Ceremony & Parade of Athletes, Healthy Athlete screenings, and a Victory Dance.

Complete details and updates about this year’s SONA Softball Championship can be found at http://specialolympicsnd.org/softball/.

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