Special Olympians compete for USL Cup

WICHITA FALLS - After a 2 week delay due to weather, the second annual Unified Soccer Championship is finally happening tonight.

A group of Special Olympian and M.S.U. students took to the field and competed together. The Maroon Cowboy Mustangs were taking on the Black Wolfpack in the Third Place Game and The Grey Grizzles played against The Gold Team L.A. for the championship. 

"On the outside, I don't look all wild and goofy but on the inside I am," special olympian, Madeline Cronin said.

That's exactly the personality Madeline planned on bringing to the Unified Soccer Championship.

"I have enough physical strength on me now to physically take down guys," she added.

This was Madeline's second time participating and she was hungry for a repeat performance.

"We did win the championship last year," she made sure she told us. 

Special Olympics Director, Mike Strickland added, "It's really amazing to see these MSU students really love on our athletes, high five them, encourage them and really see them play together as a team and I think it really helps our Special Olympic athletes even much harder." 

During the game, 3 Special Olympians will team up with 2 MSU students through the intramural program. 

"I started approaching Midwestern back in the, I guess it was summer of last year," Strickland said. 

He added that the Special Olympics received a grant from the junior league of Wichita Falls and another from ESPN to keep this program going, so even more athletes like Madeline can continue to make memories like these.

Madeline continued to tell us, " I got to do one thing that nobody else would usually do for a soccer game." 

She said she was able to recruit two other Special Olympians to form the 3 Musketeers last year. It proved successful in winning the championship then and she's hopeful it will again.

She finished by telling us, "Boy you do not want to mess with me, just saying, nope." 

Special Olympics Texas is a non-profit organization with the goal of changing the lives of Special Olympians through sports. If you would like to support Special Olympics you can find out how by clicking Special Olympics Texas

The Black Wolfpack won 3rd place, The Grey Grizzles won 2nd place and the Gold Team L.A. won this year's championship title. 


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