Montgomery County Softball: New Look, Same Winning Attitude.

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UPDATE: After a great weekend of competition, Montgomery County defeated Special Olympics Illinois- Jacksonville to bring home a bronze medal! Click here for full results.

Special Olympics Maryland-Montgomery County is heading out to Bismarck, North Dakota to participate in the Special Olympics North America Softball Championship. They will join another Maryland team from Prince George’s County as well as more than 400 athletes and Unified partners comprising 25 teams from throughout the United States and Canada that 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.

This is Coach Bob Golden’s third time he will take his team to a North America Softball Championship. In the last two years he and his team have competed in Wichita, Kansas and Roanoke, Virginia. This year may prove to be the most challenging yet as several players who make up the nucleus of his squad are unable to attend. Coach Golden has had to recruit from other teams and said that he has had to make some adjustments “mix and match a little bit with positions. So I am missing a left fielder so I had to move Max there. He will do fine there. Just some minor adjustments after that.”

The Max he is talking about is long time player and left fielder Max Rubenstein. Max has been playing softball since 2005, when he was 19 years old. He has grown up with the team and with Coach Golden. Max is looking forward to attending his second championship and ““Playing all these different teams from all these different states”. Max thinks the biggest challenge in preparing for this year’s championship is incorporating the new players in with a team that has been playing together for a long time. Max shared that he “felt great. We got silver last year. Hopefully this year we can get gold. I am hoping.”

One of the newest players called up is Alex Prautsch. Alex is a multi-position player that has only been playing softball for two years. He has played infield, outfield and catcher.  Having Alex will give Golden a little more flexibility in how he uses his roster in Bismarck. Alex is working hard to catch up and finds that “the biggest challenge to overcome is knowing everything right then and there because it takes a while to learn new things.” Alex is really excited and felt pretty good to get called up, “I mean each new experience is going to bring something to the table because everyone can benefit from something here.”

Nick Logan

Joining Alex as a new member of the team is Nick Logan.  What started as playing pickup softball 14 years ago with his father has brought him to this opportunity to attend his first ever national championship. When asked how felt when he was called up Nick shared “Are you kidding me? I was like…WHAT? Because I normally play for a team that is two division lower than their team. And Coach Golden called me and asked if I wanted to fill in for one of the players so here I am.”

Montgomery County faces some challenges ahead of them at the championship but under the tutelage of Coach Golden who has coached softball for 46 years and Special Olympics softball for the last 12 years they have a steady skipper at the helm with lots of experience.

The best thing they have is each other. Nick shared that he enjoys the “Comradery. Everyone around you likes sports. They talk baseball softball pretty much any sport you bring up to them” and Max’s “favorite part of softball is having fun with my teammates.”

 

Other members of the Montgomery County Softball Team include:
PLAYERS: Matt DiGilio, Eric Larson, Trevor Golden, Conor O’Shaughnessy, Justin Hunsinger, James Rill, Jacob Feinhals, Darrell Walker, Andrew Fusi
COACHES: Kyle Bausch, James LArson, JR and Alexander Golden.

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North America Softball Championship Details
When:                  August 17-20, 2017

Where:                 Clem Kelley Softball Complex, 517 W. Arbor Avenue, Bismarck, ND

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

Calendar of Events:       

Thursday, August 17th
Teams Arrive
Healthy Athlete Screenings (Ramada Hotel)

Friday, August 18th
Softball Pool Play Rounds (Clem Kelley Softball Complex)
Walk of Champions/Ceremonial First Pitch/Law Enforcement Torch Run
Special Olympics Town Activities
Opening Ceremony and Parade of Athletes (Municipal Ballpark)
Dance/Entertainment (Municipal Ballpark)
Fireworks (Municipal Ballpark)

Saturday, August 19th
Softball Pool Play Rounds (Clem Kelley Softball Complex)
Special Olympics Town Activities
Dinner and Entertainment (Mandan Moose Lodge)

Sunday, August 20th
Softball Medal Rounds (Clem Kelley Softball Complex)
Awards Ceremonies

Follow both Maryland teams results on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages

This article was written by Special Olympics Maryland

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