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 16th year, the Shootout includes sixteen Special Olympics teams from across the state participating in a bracketed tournament Friday, December 29 and Saturday, 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) Phoenix of Bloomington
- Jacksonville Golden Saints
- IVCSO Grey Ghosts
- Milestone Tigers
- Dream Catchers Wildcats
- IRVSRA ( Illinois River Valley Special Recreation Association) Blue Rhinos
- SOAR Hawks
- Central IL Ind Saints
Teams playing on December 30 are:
- SOAR Eagles
- Thornwood Thunderbirds
- CUSR Mustangs
- Central IL Ind Angels
- SOAR Falcons
- Neuwoehner Tigers
- Jacksonville Wolverines
- IRVSRA Pink Panthers
Teams participating in the December 30 demonstrations include:
- Thornwood Thunderbirds vs. Central IL Ind – Approximately 4:00pm (Halftime of 3:15pm championship game)
- Neuwoehner Tigers vs. Jacksonville Wolverines – Approximately 5:45pm (Halftime of 5pm championship game)
- SOAR Eagles vs. SOAR Falcons – Approximately 7:30pm (Halftime of 6:45pm championship game)
- SOAR Phoenix vs. SOAR Hawks – Approximately 9:15pm (Halftime of 8:30pm championship game)
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.