WELLSBURG - Athletes with Brooke County Special Olympics returned from the West Virginia Volleyball and Bowling Tournament in Parkersburg with several medals and ribbons and two received awards for their outstanding sportsmanship.
Matt Elcesser was awarded the J. Fred Earley Sportsman Award, which is given to an athlete who demonstrates good sportsmanship and leadership qualities. He has been with Brooke County Special Olympics for several years and participates in volleyball, track and field and basketball.
"He is friendly, courteous and very helpful to everyone," said Judi Ambrose, Special Olympics volunteer.
This year Putnam County Special Olympics leaders presented the Scottie Alford Award, a one-time award given in honor of Putnam Olympian Alford for an athlete who demonstrates outstanding determination.
The recipient was Brooke County Olympian Ed Kosut, who is known as a quiet guy who supports others while striving to do his best. Kosut participates in basketball, volleyball and bocce.
Brooke Volleyball Team A, coached by Cathy Furioli, received gold medals, placing first in its division. Its members are: Dan Adams, Heather Ambrose, Matt Elcesser, Kay Ferrari, B.J. Griffin, Jimmy Hunter, Marie Kosut and Mark Pollock.
Brooke's Unified Volleyball Team, which includes athletes with and without disabilities, placed second in its division.
Receiving silver medals were: Drake Johnson, Ronnie Miller, Josh Zonker, Clayton Weeks, Angela Powell, Sara Furioli, Jenna Furioli, Breanna Vanderpool and Kylie Greathouse.
The team is coached by Bill Furioli.
The doubles teams of Matty Filippelli and Andrew Rager and Donald Liposchak and David Mendrick received silver medals. Garnering bronze medals were Lesly Schwertfeger and Priscilla Dugan.
Allen Smith and Stephen Caswell received fifth place ribbons, and Ed Kosut received a participation ribbon.
In the singles bowling competition, gold medals went to Filippelli, Schwertfeger, Caswell and Smith. Receiving silver medals were Jeremy Janura, Ed Kosut and Rager. Bronze medals were earned by Dugan, Mendrick and Liposchak.