White River High slams the stands with fans

It didn’t matter if Rogers High grabbed the rebound or White River scored the basket – the crowd went wild at White River High’s Slam the Stands Special Olympics basketball event Jan. 25.

Hornet fans turned out in big numbers to cheer on the two teams and WRHS junior Dylan Fagan, who organized the first-time event, couldn’t have been more pleased.

“For the first year it’s a great show,” Fagan said. “This means so much to me.”

Fagan’s father is a special education teacher. Fagan said she’s been raised around special needs kids and this year the White River student body started a “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign to oust the word “retarded” from its vocabulary. She said the two dovetailed together.

During halftime and at other breaks in the evening, students were invited to sign a poster pledging support to the campaign. In return, they received either a plastic bracelet with the slogan or a button with a large R with the slash through it.

“Stupid, boring or dumb,” ASB officer Scott Anderson explained to the crowd during halftime. “The word in that context is incorrect and inappropriate and often hurtful.”

He encouraged those in attendance to start the change.

White River and Rogers’ Special Olympics skills teams also showed off their shooting and ball-handling prowess during halftime.

Fagan used Sumner High’s Pack the Gym as her model and hopes with publicity the White River event will grow next year.

White River’s Special Olympics unified team, which defeated Rogers 34-23, included James Congdon, Joe Forsberg, Jon King, Gabby LaMarsh, Maddy Wate, Devin Adams, Jessica Brown, Marci Brown, Connor Enos, Andre Fails and Lauryn Wate.

Enumclaw’s Special Olympics basketball team is asking the community to participate in its Pack the Gym Night from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Thunder Mountain Middle School. The opponent will be Auburn. Two games will be played: Enumclaw Thunder, the all-athlete team, and Enumclaw Titans, a team of athletes and peer mentors.


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