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Cooling off after flag football victory

July 23, 2010

water

Missouri flag football player Bryan Snow gets drenched with water by other Missouri athletes after their game Thursday night. Missouri defeated the Indiana Kats to take home the gold.
Photo: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Missouri flag football team finishes undefeated

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The Missouri team and fans celebrate their flag football victory.

Video by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Flag football competition exceeds expectations

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Video by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Spectators reflect on the overall experience of flag football, which was offered for the first time during the 2010 USA National Games.



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Tennessee’s Evans a most valuable player

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tennessee Thunder’s Kevin Evans, 18, of Columbia, Tenn., runs against the Indiana Kats in the opening game of the Division 1 traditional team playoff. Evans, who runs, catches passes and plays defense, tore up the field all week long.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Evans keeps a smile on his face even after his team loses its last game against Missouri, 12-16.

“He’s got the best heart,” says Thunder assistant coach Miles Duncan. “He’s MVP.”

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Evans works hard and focuses on what he’s learned while playing flag football.

“It’s about having fun and being smart,” he said.

Evans intends on including football in his future in Nashville, TN.



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Emotional last day for flag football

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Indiana Kats player Des Scott looks on as Tennessee Thunder’s Kevin Evans runs down the field during the first game of the evening for Division 1 of the traditional flag football teams. Division 1 consisted of the Indiana Kats, Tennessee and Missouri, with each team playing each other once.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tennessee Thunder’s Kevin Evans and Indiana Kats’ Bradley Smith embrace after the Kats’ 9-8 victory in overtime.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nebraska Red’s Kendrick Leubert (left) and Zach Taylor (right) try to tackle New Jersey’s Steven Rodenbeck during the second game of Division 2 play among the traditional teams. Nebraska Red won 22-14.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tennessee Thunder assistant coach Miles Duncan of Columbia, Tenn., scratches his head as the Thunder try to come back against Missouri in the second game of traditional Division 1 play. The Thunder lost 16-12.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arizona’s Andrew Wiemers tries to avoid a tackle from Texas Rattlers’ James Hawkins (left) and John Malone (middle) during the first game of play for Division 1 of the unified teams. Arizona won 14-0.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arkansas Hogs’ Tyrone Humphrey runs past Nebraska White’s Angelo McIntosh during the Hogs’ 12-6 victory in overtime. This was the first game of play for Division 2 of the traditional teams.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

TyAre Ross of the Nebraska White team tries to catch a ball against Arkansas.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Missouri’s Bernard Hill runs for a touchdown against the Indiana Kats in the Division 1 of traditional teams championship game. Missouri won 26-20, completing a 9-0 undefeated run at the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New Jersey and Nebraska Red players huddle between plays.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, Unversity of Nebraska-Lincoln

New Jersey and Nebraska Red players leap for the ball.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Indiana Bulletz and Texas Rattlers players chase after a ball in the second game of unified Division 1 play. Texas won 32-28.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arizona tries to defend the Indiana Bulletz during the championship game of the unified Division 1. Arizona won 32-19.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Arkansas and Nebraska Red battle it out in the championship game of Division 2 of the traditional teams. Nebraska Red won 29-14.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

All 10 flag football teams pose after the medal ceremony. For traditional teams in Division 1, Missouri won gold, Indiant Kats silver and Tennessee bronze. For traditional teams in Division 2, Nebraska Red took home gold, Arkansas silver, New Jersey bronze and Nebraska White fourth-place ribbons. For unified teams in Division 1, Arizona won gold, Indiana Bulletz silver and Texas bronze.

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Photo by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The Moody family poses for a picture following the medal ceremony. Brendon Moody, from the Nebraska Football Academy, volunteered all week and brought his sons along with him. They were often seen playing catch between games.



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Unified teams making unified friends

Arizona vs. Illinois

With the addition of flag football to the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games, Payton LaCivita took the opportunity to volunteer his time and talent by joining the Arizona unified flag football team.

As a “unified partner,” LaCivita, a college student at Arizona State, is just as much as part of the team as his teammates with intellectual disabilities.

LaCivita said, “Three years ago my high school coach asked me to come and help out with these guys. I volunteered then, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

The unified sports program started with an idea called “Project UNIFY.” According to the Special Olympics website, Project UNIFY’s goal is to “activate young people to develop strong communities where all young people are agents of change-fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities by utilizing programs and initiatives of Special Olympics.”

The program creates special bonds among teammates. For example, Marc Whatley, a 30-year old athlete from Tucson, Ariz., has found a friend in LaCivita. Both are athletes. Both love football. Both had smiles when they talked about their win. It’s their similarities that matter, not their differences.

Krista McDonald, Emily German – University of Nebraska, Lincoln, CoJMC



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Arizona Unified teammates plot their moves

Arizona Players

Jorin Larsen and Kevin Griffen strategize during their unified flag football game.
Photo by Emily German-University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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New Jersey footballers support bocce athletes

July 22, 2010

Football

The New Jersey flag football team members gather for a photograph at Cook Pavilion, where they were supporting their state’s bocce athletes. The football team will compete Thursday at 5 p.m. against Nebraska Red.
Photo: Corinne Burger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Flag football a not-so-lonely place for girls

July 21, 2010

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Video by Emily Walkenhorst, University of Nebraska-Lincoln



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Nebraska flag football teams unite

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Photo by Asha Anchan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nebraska Red and Nebraska White pose for a group picture after playing each other. This was not the first time the two teams have been in opposition. Their coaches have taken advantage of their close proximity to pit the teams against each other before.



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