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Special Olympics And IHSA Team Up For Bass Fishing Tournament

5/27/2015, 1:22 p.m.
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) made history in 2009 when the Association conducted the first high school bass fishing ...

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) made history in 2009 when the Association conducted the first high school bass fishing state tournament in the country. The IHSA Board of Directors announced that the IHSA and Special Olympics Illinois will jointly conduct a unified high school bass fishing tournament in conjunction with the 2015 IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals at Carlyle Lake.

“Special Olympics Illinois is very excited about the Unified division that is included as a part of this year’s IHSA Bass Fishing Tournament,” said Tracy Hilliard, Special Olympics Illinois Vice President-Sports and Competition. “It is excellent opportunity to provide diverse students involvement in high school athletics. The tournament is another positive step in building a partnership between the Illinois High School Association and Special Olympics Illinois.”

The inaugural unified tournament will feature four schools, as students from Huntley High School, Maine South High School, Niles Notre Dame and Pontiac High School will all be represented. Each unified boat will feature three participants: a non-competing adult driver/coach, a Special Olympics athlete Olympian, and a fellow high school student peer partner. The teams can sub boat participants out without limitation throughout the duration of the tournament.

“The bass fishing tournament has been a positive addition for the IHSA and our state. That sentiment grows with the addition of the unified bass fishing tournament,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman, a past Special Olympics Illinois Board member. “I continue to be proud of the IHSA’s ability to create more participation opportunities for high school students, whether it be through this wonderful partnership with Special Olympics, the programs for Athletes with Disabilities we have added in bowling, swimming and track, or our wheelchair basketball tournament.”