Bristol Baysiders medal in soccer tournament

SpecOly4

The Bristol Baysiders soccer team came away with a third place medal on Oct. 24, in the Joseph M. Rodrigues Special Olympics Soccer Tournament.

“We only played one game because of the triple E virus threat,” said head coach, Barbara Lepage.

The team, made up of 13 players from Barrington, Bristol and Warren, was one of eight teams from around the state involved in the tournament.

“I’m here to play my best,” said Frank Siembab of Barrington.

Mr. Siembab also had another role to play according to his teammates.

“We call him the mayor,” said Kyle Marshall. “He knows a lot of people.”

This was the tenth year that the tournament bore the name of Joseph M. Rodrigues who was very involved in Special Olympics before his death, said his daughter, Jeanne Rodrigues. Since then, the family has carried on his tradition.

Special Olympics is designed to give athletes with special needs an opportunity to compete in physical games, while enjoying the socialization that comes through sports, said Casie Rhodes, the organization’s director of sports and recreation. The day-long tournament brought out the best in the athletes, with the Bristol Baysiders winning one game, but falling to a second against the Fogarty Center of North Providence in an overtime match.

During the awards ceremony that followed the event, each team member received their ribbon and medal. Their satisfaction came in playing the game, regardless of their outcome, true to the Special Olympic oath: Let me win. If I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

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