Presented by the State Farm Holiday Classic and S.O.A.R.
On October 13, 2005, the Classic Tournament, Inc. lost a very special and vital part of our event. Ron Knisley, Director of Sports and Competition for Special Olympics Illinois (SOILL), lost his battle to cancer.
Ron volunteered his time as a Holiday Classic committee member for ten years and was a constant around Horton Field House as a venue supervisor. Through the years, he assisted with the scheduling of athletic trainers, helped create the Classic scholarship program, and most importantly oversaw the coordination of the Special Olympics Shootout, now named the Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout in memory of our dear friend.
Now in its 15th year, the Shootout includes sixteen Special Olympics teams from across the state participating in a bracketed tournament Thursday, December 29 and Friday, December 30. And, Championship night will once again feature Shootout teams in 8-minute exhibitions on the main Shirk Center floor during half-time of one of the Classic championship games.
Teams playing on December 29 are:
- SOAR (Special Opportunities Available in Recreation) Unicorns of Bloomington
- Milestone Tigers
- IRVSRA ( Illinois River Valley Special Recreation Association) Blue Rhinos
- El Paso-Gridley Titans
- SOAR Warriors
- IRVSRA Pink Panthers
- Jacksonville Wolverines
Teams playing on December 30 are:
- SOAR Avengers
- CUSR Blue Mustangs
- Springfield Green Devils
- Tri-Valley Vikings
- SOAR Thunder
- CUSR Yellow Mustangs
- Springfield Blue Devils
- IRVSRA Honey Badgers
If you find yourself at Shirk Center on the last two days of the Holiday Classic, please take the time to check out this great experience and support these athletes.