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Local Special Olympian to receive award at Big 12 Championship Game

| November 29, 2023
From left, Chelsea Lefler, Janel Travis, Easton Dillon, Matthew Medley, and Angie Hall represented Tuscarawas County Special Olympics at the annual Special Olympics Ohio Awards Banquet Nov. 17.

Matthew Medley of the Tuscarawas County Rockets is Ohio’s Athlete of the Year for the Special Olympics, but the honors don’t stop there.

Matthew has also been selected as the Big 12 Special Olympics Athlete of the Year. That means he will be recognized in from of more than 70,000 college football fans during the Big 12 Championship game Saturday at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. The game kicks off at 11 a.m. on ABC and features No. 7 Texas and No. 18 Oklahoma State. Nelly is performing at halftime. Matthew will be there with his grandmother, Donna Gibson, friend and teammate, Zach Dryden, and coach and teammate, Patrick Dillon.

In his nomination, Matthew was recognized as a statewide leader in and out of competition; he is noted as having a quiet confidence and working hard to allow his teammates to shine.

Matthew competes for the Rockets, which was well represented at the annual Special Olympics Ohio Awards Banquet Nov. 17.

The Unified Pair of the Year is the Rockets Janel Travis and Shane York.  In their nomination, Janel and Shane’s love for each other, the Rockets, and sports was noted as well as their friendship that transcended competition. While Shane passed away in June of this year, his memory lives on in all who knew him.

Bradley Ritenour of Dover represented the Ohio Moose Association in receiving The Impact Award for Service Organizations.  Ritenour is the administrator of the Dover Moose Family Center 707 and a longtime supporter of the Rockets.

Ohio’s 2023 Special Olympics Athlete of the Year Matthew Medley.

Ohio’s 2023 Special Olympics Unified Pair of the Year – Janel Travis and Shane York (posthumously).

Members of the Rockets pose with Loretta Claiborn, the Chief Inspirational Officer of Special Olympics International and keynote speaker.

Members of the Rockets pose with Bradley Ritenour who represented the Ohio Moose Association.

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