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Warlords


 


INDUCTEE 2019 - TEAM
1998 WETASKIWIN WARLORDS  - SPECIAL OLYMPICS SLO-PITCH TEAM


 


Wetaskiwin Warlords
Special Olympics Slo-Pitch Team
1998 Special Olympics Provincial Slo-Pitch Champions
1998 Alberta Team at the Canada Cup  -   Special Olympics Friendship Division

The Wetaskiwin Warlords were a Special Olympics team that was organized for a couple of years in order to play ball in the St. Paul Alberta’s Special Olympics Annual Tournament.  Teams from all over the province and even other provinces competed at this tournament.  After the first year of participating in St Paul and realizing how much fun it was, two teams from Wetaskiwin attended the tournament the second year,  an “A” team and a “B” team.  It was in the second year that the “A” team garnered success with some rather accomplished athletes.  The “A” team won the tournament and both teams had a great, fun-filled experience.  A couple of weeks after the tournament Special Olympics Alberta informed the Warlords that because of their win they were chosen to be Team Alberta at a national tournament in Surrey BC.

What Began As Fun Turns into Competition for Team Canada

Then the fun began!  The coach, team manager, President of Wetaskiwin Special Olympics Organization, team members and all those connected with the team had no idea what they were getting into and didn’t really find out the scope of the competition until they arrived in Surrey.   However, it was time to “get ready” to represent Alberta at the tournament.  First of all, the team had to have “real” uniforms, t-shirts wouldn’t cut it.  Special Olympics Alberta helped by covering the cost of the uniforms as well as transportation and registration fees.  The coach at Instant Replay in Wetaskiwin helped out with choosing and ordering the uniforms and the team looked sharp in their new teal and grey uniforms. Secondly, the team had to prepare for the competition.  Practices were held twice a week and players were brought up from the “B” team to bolster the roster.

A First on Many Levels - Leads to Unbeatable
Experience Representing Alberta

Eventually, it was time to travel to the competition.  The trip was really exciting for everyone and for many of the team members, it was their first airplane trip.  The team was housed at Trinity University in Langley BC with other teams from across Canada. Once in Surrey the scope of the competition became apparent.  It turned out the Special Olympics event in Surrey was being held in conjunction with the Women’s Canada Cup Ladies International Softball Championship. National ladies softball teams from all over the world were competing against one another to prepare for Olympic Qualifying. The Special Olympics Friendship Division that the Wetaskiwin Warriors were competing in was the Special Olympics competition to choose Team Canada.  Wow, it was more important than anticipated!  Opening ceremonies were held before the start of the tournament however, sadly half of the Warlords team missed the ceremonies as the bus driver forgot them.

The Wetaskiwin Warlords represented Alberta admirably and the event was a once in a lifetime experience for all.  To compete and celebrate along with such gifted world class athletes was beyond awesome for everyone concerned.  New friendships were made, fears were faced and individual confidence grew.  It was a life-changing event for some of those involved and many wonderful memories were made. This was one of Alberta’s Special Olympics athletes first participation in an “inclusive” competition.

Warlords Face Fears - Make History

The next year half of the team moved either to get married, go to school or life took them in another direction.  Special Olympics in Wetaskiwin had ball teams for a couple of years after 1998 but there has never been another Wetaskiwin team able to reach the heights of the 1998 Warlords.  Congratulations to all of the 1998 team members, coaches and the manager for their well deserved induction into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.  You are a credit to our community!

Team Members include Richard Arcand, Ken Ford, Trevor Ford, Andrew Garvey, Nathan Gibson, Charlene McDermott, Cameron McNainy, Tim Miller, Jackie Phall, Keith Russell, Joey Schwaier, Darcy Smith, Chester Stone, Anna Turnquist and Calvin Webster along with head coach Blain Fuller, assistant coach Gary Ford, Manager Sheana McDermott and assistant coach Theresa Fuller.


Team Members

 

 

 

Team Members in Action



Read the presentation speech by Don McMillan

 

 






 

 

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Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame
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Photo Credits - Nominations