Smiles matter more than scorebook

| April 5, 2018

The Hopewell Indians Cheerleaders are ready for their introductions at the annual Hopewell Staff vs. Players game held April 4 at Coshocton High School. Josie Sellers | Beacon

Josh Noe and Devin Rivera prepare for tip-off during the Hopewell Staff vs. Players game. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – The scoreboard said 62-62, but the Hopewell staff team actually sneaked in one extra point to beat the Special Olympics Basketball players in their annual game. The official score, however, wasn’t as important as the smiles on everyone’s faces.

“I like watching their sportsmanship and how they help each other out,” said Staci Berry. “It’s a very entertaining, feel good event.”

Her son Jalen Berry is involved with the Special Olympics Basketball program and sang the National Anthem to start off the game held April 4 at Coshocton High School.

“It’s like his Autism isn’t even there when he is singing,” Staci said. “He’s definitely an entertainer.”

She jumped in to help coach the team of basketball players.

“I’m just trying to make sure they all get a chance to get in and try to beat the staff,” Staci said. “I love the Hopewell Indians (basketball program) and am glad we have it in our county. The support from the community means a lot too.”

Julieann Spalding was the coach for the staff team.

“I play every year and look forward to it,” she said. “The players are amazing.”

Their excitement for the game also was impressive.

“When you see the lesser skilled basketball players make a basket it’s just priceless,” Staci said.

It wasn’t just the skills of the basketball teams that made the game fun though. The Hopewell Indians cheerleaders also were there to get the crowd excited. When they did their half-time dance 9-year-old twins Zoey and Mikayla Girard were front and center showcasing their moves.

“I have a good time at our games,” Zoey said.

Her favorite cheer is the Indians Rumble, but Mikayla likes all of them and just getting the crowd fired up.

Erin Kennard said the cheerleaders were great and summed up the evening and the basketball season quite well.

“We’re the best,” she said.

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    Josie Sellers

    About the Author ()

    I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!