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Long Co. medals twice in Special Olympics
From left: Seth Golden, Ashley Blakeley, DJ Diller and Ashley Foster pose with the medals. - photo by Mike Riddle for the Coastal Courier
DJ Diller, Ashley Blakeley, Seth Golden and Ashley Foster recently competed in the 2008 Fall State Special Olympics and brought home gold and bronze medals.
The Oct. 3-5 event was at Mill Creek Regional Park in Statesboro.
The Long County teens competed in the unified bocce competition, with Golden and Foster earning gold medals, and Diller and Blakeley taking home the bronze medals.
Bocce, which is played on a court, requires competitors to use pinpoint accuracy to throw balls at a target called a pallino. A score nets between 11-13 points.
The four teens are special needs students at Long County High School. Golden and Foster are sophomores, Diller and Blakely are seniors.
The girls are unified partner volunteers with the Long County Special Olympics.
Other competitive sports at the Olympics included team softball, softball skills, golf, golf skills, traditional bocce, long distance
running and walking.
This was the first time Long County sent a team to the state competition.
"We went to the state competition just for the experience," Long County Special Olympics coordinator Krystal Middleton said. "We didn't expect to place, but for both teams to come home with medals is just an awesome feeling."
The coach was LCHS science teacher Jason Lee.
Doug Diller, DJ's father, said, "I'm real proud of DJ, these kids don't get a lot of recognition, and for him to do as well as he did, like I said, I'm real proud."
Golden's mother, Paula Golden, said, "I'm so proud of Seth. There isn't a lot of things that these kids can participate in, and when they get to go off and compete in something like this, it's good for them."

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