Moline and Rock Island Special Olympics athletes score big in sportsmanship

MOLINE, Illinois -- If your "March Madness" bracket has you feeling down, you only need to attend a local Special Olympics game to cheer up, no matter who you're rooting for.

There were smiles all around from players and fans from both sides during an exhibition game between the Moline High School and Rock Island High School Special Olympics basketball teams on Thursday night at Wharton Field House.

The MHS Special Olympics team won, but the point was about, well, much more than points.

It was about teamwork and sportsmanship, said Moline Special Olympics coach Holly van Herzelle.

Friends, family, and even players themselves sometimes cheered on the opposing team, said Rock Island coach Jeff Martens.

It was also about raising money for the MHS Special Olympics team. MHS Special Olympics athletes also participate in other sports including track and field, and bowling, advancing to District and State-level competitions.