Marshall County Flag Football Team Selected For Kentucky Special Olympics | Sports


Some local faces in Marshall County will have the chance to compete for Team Kentucky at the 2022 Special Olympics USA games next June. Eight players and two coaches will travel to Orlando, Florida to play flag football.

This will be the first time players and coaches have taken part in United States matches.

The games will feature 19 Olympic-style team and individual sports, including athletics, basketball, pétanque, bowling, cheerleading, horseback riding, flag football, golf, gymnastics, open water swimming, powerlifting, soccer, softball, stand up paddleboarding, surfing, swimming, tennis, triathlon and volleyball.

More than 5,500 athletes and coaches will participate from all 50 states and the Caribbean.

Special Olympics Kentucky will send 34 athletes, seven unified partners and 16 coaches to the Games.

They will compete in eight sports: artistic gymnastics, petanque, bowling, flag football, golf, swimming, athletics and unified basketball.

This group of eight athletes is the reigning 2019 State Champion who nominated them for the United States Games.

“We are the only team west of Bowling Green to have been selected and 2019 was the first year we have participated in flag football,” coach Jonny Byrd told The Sun. “The first year as a flag, we won a state title the same year and we were selected for the Kentucky team for the American games, they (the athletes) are all but themselves.” Byrd hosted their first practice of the season on Sunday, September 5, where the team were thrilled to get together, work out and play soccer.

“They’re very proud, they’re very serious about training and getting fit and they love the attention,” Byrd said.

THE PLAYERSEdward burkeen, 28, from Benton, has been a Special Olympics athlete for 15 years and has been on the Marshall County football team for two years. He also participated in basketball, bowling, golf and track and field.

Chris Capone, 35, from Benton has competed in Special Olympics for six years.

He participated in basketball, bowling and track and field in addition to flag football. He works at JU Kevil.

Jacques Davio, 29, of Calvert City has been a Special Olympics athlete for 8 years and participated in flag football for a year. He also participated in basketball, track and field and bowling.

Jacob Dunn, 21, de Dexter competed in the Special Olympics for five years.

His first year in flag football was in 2019. He also competes in basketball, golf and track and field. He works for Ronnie Baldwin Masonry.

Travis Hicks, 30, of Gilbertsville has been with the program for 10 years, but is also new to flag football, having debuted in 2019. He has also competed in basketball, bowling, golf and track and field.

Aaron Morrison, 25, has been in the Special Olympics program for eight years and started playing flag football in 2017.

He has also competed in basketball, bowling, golf, soccer and track and field.

Hunter Morrison, 20, is in his ninth year of competing at the Special Olympics and started playing flag football in 2017.

In addition, he has participated in basketball, bowling, golf, soccer and track and field. He works at Murray State University.

Ryan morrison, 27, has also been a Special Olympics participant for the past nine years, participating in basketball, bowling, golf, soccer and track and field in addition to flag football.

He is in his second year with the flag football team.

He works at Murray State University.

THE COACHESRandy Dunn de Dexter will be the assistant coach of the flag football team. He coached Special Olympics athletes for three years, coaching golf in addition to flag football. He also competed as a unified partner in golf for seven years. His coaching experience outside of Special Olympics includes baseball and softball. He is the father of Jacob Dunn.

Jonny Byrd de Hardin will serve as the team’s head coach. He has coached Special Olympics athletes for 11 years, including three flag football teams. He has also coached basketball teams inside and outside of Special Olympics. In addition, he coached football in Washington County. He works at Gordon Food Service.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to send athletes and coaches to the United States Games once again,” Special Olympics Kentucky President and CEO Trish Mazzoni said in a press release. . “Being selected for the Kentucky team for the Games is not only a huge honor for our athletes, it also provides a great opportunity for personal growth. We have seen many of our athletes transformed by this experience during the previous four US Games that have been held. In addition, with these Games largely being held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, it will be a one-of-a-kind environment and a chance to compete in world-class facilities.

For now, the team will focus on their next flag football season and then the Olympics. As the defending State 1A champions, they want to repeat and claim the title again.

The team will prepare for the regional game in Louisville on October 10, followed by the state tournament in Lexington on November 6.


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