Area26 news & updates
January 2020 | Issue 5
Revealing the Champion in all of us...
Athlete's Corner with Billy Duquette
For this month, The Special Olympic Area 26 basketball teams are practicing and getting ready for the opening of the Area tournament season in the month of January (Next Sunday day...).

Most of the teams and other Winter athletes have been enjoying the Christmas break with their families.

To all of the teams,

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year for 2020,

January Featured Sports: Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding
-by Ed Morrissey
Area 26's Ski and Snowboard team, the Snow Pandas, is looking for new members. No previous skiing or snowboarding experience is necessary, but it does help. The team works with athletes on racing skills. Athletes compete in slalom, giant slalom, and super-giant slalom.

The team began dry-land ground training, working on conditioning, balance, strength and race strategy back in December. These practices are at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, Sundays from 11-12. (We use the Highland Street entrance, and we meet under the train trestle.)

On snow practices begin in January, (this coming Sunday) weather permitting. We train at Ski Liberty on Sunday mornings from 8-1, and are usually back in the area by 2:30-3 p.m. Current training dates are January 5, 12, 19, and 26 January, and February 2nd.

If you're interested in joining the Snow Pandas, please contact Ed Morrissey at
Coordinators: Ed and Marta Morrissey
Season: November - March
Practice Location(s): Ski Liberty (Carrol Valley, PA)
Competition Locations:
2020 Polar Plunge #1 is imminent
The first Area plunge will be at Mosaic in three weeks. Donation and plunging pages for all three 2020 Plunges are open, and we desperately need both participants and donors from Area 26. In addition ot Mosaic, there are two sites plunging in February this year with Area 26 participation - the Virginia Beach plunge [Hilton Resort] on the 8th, and Prince William [Occoquan River] on February 22nd.

This fundrasier is our best chance of getting something good out of the winter chill!!

Sign up and get more information by clicking below. 50% of funds raised go directly to Area 26, and the other 50% funds athletes (including ours) across VA.
Baskeball News...
January 4th saw the opening of the 2020 Basketball tournament season. Area 14 (Loudoun SO) hosted teams from Areas 14, 23 and 26. Games were played across all divisions at five Loudoun venues: Cactoctin ES, Independence HS, Loudoun HS, Riverside HS and Tuscarora HS. This set of matchups serves as the pre-divisioning cycle for the season... that is, team's divisions will be fine-tuned from the results to prepare for the State qualifying series, which begins next Sunday (Jan 12) back in Area 26 at several sites.

As in past years, this well-run tournament was an opportunity for cross-section play with Area 14, which provides hints as to State Competition later this year. All of our athletes performed well, and everyone is looking forward to the start of regular season play next Sunday.

A very special thank you to the teams who have provided photos!!
- keep 'em coming...
Hayfield Clinic...
A brand new program was introduced this year by and at the wonderful Hayfield Secondary School. 

Area teams were invited to participate in an advanced clinic where they focused on drills and training customized to each team's level of play. 
Passing, dribbling, shooting and other critical skills were practiced with attention to form and focus. The teams also competed in scrimmages to reinforce skills learned.

Many thanks to the Hayfield Coaches, Casey Quigley, the Boys and Girls Varsity Teams, and our own Coach Nola Gaskins (from Mighty Titans) for acting as Basketball Coordinator for the event.

We look forward to this great offering being an annual part of the Basketball season!!
Upcoming Events
Winter Sport Registration - Ongoing...see the website
12 January Area 26 Basketball Tournament
19 January Area 26 BBall Qualifier Tournament
25 January - Mosaic Polar Plunge
8 February - VA Beach Polar Plunge
22 February - Prince William Polar Plunge
Area 26 Points of Contact
Area 26 Council

Elaine Tilton

Billy Duquette
Bruce Fingerhut
Veronica Jennings
Nancy Julia
Abby Lacy
Nancy Robbins
Paul Tierney
Bernie Woolfley

Season Directors
Elaine Tilton, Fall/Winter

Nancy Julia, Spring/Summer

Barry Tilton

Medical Coordinator
Barb DeLisa

Senior Director, Potomac Region
Veronica Jennings

Area 26 Special Olympics |