Members of the Montrose Police Department and Sheriff’s office, Olathe Police Department, and Colorado State Patrol tried their best to beat the MCSD Special Olympics team as they reignited their annual basketball rivalry on Saturday, Feb. 25.
But, after four, eight-minute periods the law enforcement team ultimately lost by 20 points, with the final score of 46-25. The Special Olympics vs. law enforcement game is an annual fundraiser for the MCSD Special Olympics.
This year the Special Olympics team consisted of all Montrose High School students, with six athletes and three unified partners, said Special Education teacher for MHS Taylor Brown. Previous games have included students from Olathe as well.
Law enforcement agencies draw in players for their team from not only local police departments, but Colorado Parks and Wildlife, as well as the families of these officers over the years. About 16 officers and their families participated last Saturday.
“I think the event had a great turnout this year. We had a great crowd and a student section even showed up to cheer on the athletes,” said Brown.
Montrose Police Officer Trevis Booth, school resource officer at Montrose High, was also happy with the turnout this year, stating he saw anywhere between 20 to 30 students there to cheer on their classmates.
According to Booth ,this basketball game has been an annual event for about 16 years including a brief hiatus due to COVID-19, and as a player he has watched the event grow. The amount of engagement coming from the student body seemed to make this year’s event a bit more special.
“For me, seeing more of a turnout for these kids was awesome. I hope we continue to watch that grow,” said Montrose County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Matt Breshears, who was also a player in last weekend’s game and has been a part of this event for years. “Those kids, you just watch their faces light up. (With) every basket they make they get more and more excited.”
The Special Olympics versus law enforcement game is a fundraiser to help with travel costs for the Special Olympics team, especially as the athletes head to the state basketball tournament later this year.
Project Unify at MHS made baked goods that were sold at the doors of the Lloyd McMillan Gym at the high school where the game took place. The money from these sales as well as any donations from Saturday’s attendees go towards this fundraiser.
“MCSD Special Olympics would like to thank the community and the law enforcement officers for another great Special Olympic event!” said Brown.
Aside from being a day of fun rivalry, this event also showcases the bond that has been built between Special Olympics and local law enforcement due to years on the court together.
Sheriff Gene Lillard stated “It was for a good cause, and we love our Special Olympians … we have for years and years and years.”
The law enforcement officers are already preparing for the next game. “Our team will be practicing more so we can give them a better run next year,” said Lillard.
Discuss the news on NABUR, a place to have local conversations The Neighborhood Alliance for Better Understanding and Respect ✔ A site just for our local community ✔ Focused on facts, not misinformation ✔ Free for everyone