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Alhambra/Monterey Park

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Anthony Rodela (right) and James Morrell (left) have been soccer teammates on the Alhambra/Monterey Park AYSO VIP Division for players with special needs since 2010. James joined back in 2008, when his mom, Trina, had heard that the then AYSO Region 60 Commissioner, Tony Baclig (center), was enthusiastic about starting a team for players with disabilities. Trina quickly signed up James and his twin brother, John, because she thought it would be an opportunity for them to improve in their physical coordination and social skills, despite their autism. Not long after that, Anthony, who also has autism, joined the VIP team. After years of consistent training, the players showed marked improvement, competing against other VIP teams from Southern California and even from as far away as New York. This summer, Anthony Rodela and James Morrell took their competitive spirit to new heights when they traveled to Seattle as part of Special Olympics Team Southern California in the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, July 1-6. In order to qualify, Anthony and James had won several Special Olympics gold medals at the local level and had also competed at the State level. As part of the 8-member Southern California track and field team and the 66-member delegation from SoCal, they were chosen out of 34,000 Special Olympics Southern California athletes. Proving their skills against athletes from all over the USA, Anthony and James made Coach Tony and the entire  AYSO soccer family back in Alhambra/Monterey Park proud. On the first day of competition, Anthony won Bronze in the Men’s 100 Meter Run (Division 06). The next day he captured Silver in the 200 Meter Run (Division 02) less than 3 tenths of a second behind the gold medalist from North Carolina. As a final celebration, on the 4th of July Anthony took Silver in the Long Jump. James also had reason to celebrate, making it to the podium in all four of his events, with 2 Silvers and 2 Bronzes, taking home the most medals of his team. In the 100 Meter Run (Men’s Division 08), James won Silver only nine hundredths of a second behind the gold medalist from Connecticut. He won Silver in the 400 Meter Run (Division 05), Bronze in the 200 Meter Run (Division 07), and Bronze in Shot Put. James and Anthony have been seen on television and cable stations including ABC, NBC, KTLA, and ESPN 2.

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AYSO Region 60 Alhambra/Monterey Park

P.O. Box 7817 
Alhambra, California 91802

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 626-244-7374
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