Area26 news & updates
October 2021 | Issue 26
Let me win, but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As always, please send comments, article suggestions, articles and photos to me at: .
Area 26 Policy...
Face Mask 1
All athletes and volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination if participating in close contact and/or team sports. Additionally, SOVA Policy requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination for any individual participating in overnight events. This includes any local, regional, state or national invitational events. Proof of vaccination must be sent to SOVA and Area 26 (please see Return to Activities Resources in the section below). 

Athlete families, please verify with your coaches that your paperwork has been approved before arriving for practice or events. The coaching and volunteer staff cannot accept the forms in person and grant immediate access, as SOVA holds the approval authorization.

NOTE: When you submit the athlete paperwork via the email address (and volunteer packages to the address) they go both to the Area AND to SOVA for processing.
Ongoing Reminder - Return to Activities Resources

  • The plan to restart our sports follows the SOVA guidelines for the return-to-play effort (button #1). [NOTE: COVID-19 Educational material are on pp 20-24]

  • We continue to encourage our community to get vaccinated as soon as they can. *Athletes and Volunteers must be vaccinated and provide proof in order to participate in Area 26 close contact and/or team sports, staying overnight at away games, multi-day events and state games. Information about getting vaccinated can be found (button #2)

  • Each athlete and Volunteer will have to complete a COVID Waiver Form. The link is now to an updated copy which adds vaccination status - (button #3).[3] 

  • SOVA and the CDC provide information about what it means to be a “high risk” participant, and we encourage you to follow the guidance of both SOVA and the CDC in this regard (button #4).

  • Athletes with an expired Medical Form, will have to submit updates to all forms. The package now contains 8 pages - please complete and submit the full package (button #5).
Athletes, please email completed athlete forms AND front/back images of Vaccination Cards to: (this will deliver them to both the Area AND to SOVA - only the one email address is required)

In preparation for return-to-play, we are including a link below to the Volunteer Class A Certification Process on the Area 26 website. 

Volunteer Class A, and coach certifications must be updated every 3 years. Many certifications have expired, and many are due to expire. All volunteers are also required to have a COVID19 Waiver on file (button #3 above... ).
Volunteers, please email completed volunteer forms, certifications AND front/back images of Vaccination Cards to: (as with the athleteform email, this will deliver them to both the Area AND to SOVA - only the one email submission address is required)
Golf Fundraiser is this Month!!

There is still time to sign up for and/or donate to the Area 26 Golf Fundraiser. October 18th at the Springfield Country Club. The registration and donation information can be accessed at the button below.
Fall Sports Have Begun!!
BOCCE...Bowling's outdoor Italian cousin began practice last Monday. The new Law Enforcement Coaching Duo and their crew enjoyed pitching and rolling in the great Fall weather...Coach Marques Lowery (on the left) contributed

"The Area 26 Bocce team returned to action for practice this past spring season and now we're back for fall practice to get prepared for the Fall Championships in Virginia Beach.

The Area 26 team, which is a partnership between the Area 26 athletes and the Fairfax County Police Department, were glad to be able to meet again in person after a long COVID layoff. In order to remain engaged with each other during the pandemic, we held Bocce Zoom meetings every other Monday where we worked on our stretching and bocce form so that when we returned to in-person activities, we were ready!

We're excited to compete in the Fall Championships and are practicing every Monday afternoon in preparation for the event."

Here are some photos of the first practice
BOWLING...The bowling program is now two weeks in for the Fall Season. Bowlers are once again Striking on Saturdays. Here are a few shots of the group in action...
FLAG FOOTBALL...The Avengers are getting ready to head to a tournament in VA Beach on October 8th...
GOLF...Our No-Duffer squad is getting in the swing again...
POWERLIFTING...These Superstrong athletes are back to defying gravity...
SOCCER...Fields all over the Area are back to Soccer, which had its first tournament this past Saturday at Lewis High School sponsored by Ankura.
VOLLEYBALL...The WarHawks and Nighthawks are well into their practice season with the WarHawks' first Inter-Area Scrimmage (with Area 14) coming up this weekend...
Plane Pull 2021 is still open for registration...
-by Patrick DeLapp, Area Team Captain

Hello Everyone!

There are still a few slots left to join the pul team for the event on October 23rd at 12:15 PM EDT at Dulles Airport. Due to COVID, only team members and official volunteers will be allowed to be on site at the runway this year, so if you want to join the group, please hurry and sign up, and donate if you can...

To Register...
  1. Go to this link
  2. Created a fundraising page with the team
  3. You are good to go
Thanks to a generous donation from Coach DeLapp's Company, Vortex Companies LLC, we have already reached the goal to be able to participate AND get a personalized tee shirt, so you do not need to raise any money to get us going….but any fundraising would be great! Every dollar counts towards new equipment, hotels, trips, etc.

IMPORTANT: Please always remember when registering or donating to indicate your affiliation with Area 26 so that we get 1/2 of the proceeds to fund the local program!!
Virtual Activities...
Hi Athletes,

As always, details and schedule can be found on the online resources page on the Website.
Fit-5 Fitness Pals Monthly Update...
The Fit5-Five...Chris, Tom, Dave, Max and Kyler are ready...
Chris Robinson going for the catch!
David Kellet-Forsyth going for the ball
Kyler Reese runs for the touchdown with defenders on him!!
Max Hershberger going for the flag!
Tom Merz on Defense!
Athletes Corner
  • by Max Hershberger
Hello Area 26!!!!!

Hope you're doing well and staying active by working out daily!! 

I can’t even believe it’s fall already - can you all?

For the season, I have a quote for you all:

A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the tree stand.

I think, I too, Have known Autumn too long

Now that Fall sports have started, on Saturday I am learning defensive skiks at practice with Avengers flag football team and improving my serve volleyball with WarHawks!

As like in Summer, on Wednesdays I do YOUniquely fit on zoom. I have been getting ready for running, but the Marine Corps Marathon was cancelled for this year - that makes me sad, but there are still other runs.

I hope you’re enjoying your fall sport activities so far. I interviewed my house mate Tommy Miossi and he enjoyed the soccer tournament last weekend.. He said the Gold Rush team played really well!! They won the first and lost the 2nd game. Remember, Win or Lose its all about putting your effort in and also you can improve your games keep on getting better. "teamwork makes the dream work".

Keep on practicing basic drills to improve your game. Also, make sure you stretch during practices and game days, stay hydrated and get good daily rest.

Fun Activities- I attended the September GMU Block Party with some of my friends and had a BLAST.

Coming soon: there's another block party on Friday October 22nd at Fairfax City. MARK YOUR CALENDARS- There will be food trucks and the band will be playing 70s and 80s music!! Hope you all can make it out there and you know I ll be there 😊

For your Fall Sports, remember unvaccinated will not be able to participate... Please get your shot if you can that way we can make the season safe and enjoyable. 

Talk to you next month
Max Hershberger
Winter is Coming...and that is GREAT news, as it means that skiing will be back soon. The following is from Coach Ed Morrisey...
The Area 26 Alpine Ski and Snowboard team is looking for new members. Some previous experience in skiing or snowboarding is helpful. Athletes compete in three disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, and super giant slalom (super-g) in novice, intermediate and advanced categories. We follow the International Ski Federation (FIS) rules for racing, modified slightly for our athletes. Our very experienced coaching staff (including a World Winter Games Alpine Coach) will help athletes become the best racers that they can be. 

Our athletes train before the snow flies to get in shape for the demands of skiing and snowboarding. We work on endurance, strength, and quickness to get everyone ready for the slopes.

Once there is snow, we're off to Ski Liberty in Carroll Valley, PA to get time on the slopes preparing for competition. We teach athletes the basics of racing - how to start, go through gates, and most importantly, stop at the end of the run!

We meet on Sunday mornings beginning in November for both preseason training and on-snow practices. The season runs into early March, or for as long as the snow and funding holds out. For more information on skiing, please contact Head Coach Ed Morrissey at, or for snowboarding, Marta Morrissey at
Stay Healthy, Stay Active!!
We love to have your pictures - so keep busy and...
  • Shared by Veronica Jennings, SOVA Staff
The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is available to people with disabilities looking for assistance in scheduling their COVID-19 vaccination and finding accessible transportation to the appointment. Call 888-677-1199 or email
If you have trouble leaving your home and are on Medicare, you may qualify to get the COVID-19 vaccine at home. The Vaccine Equity Clinic on Route 1 in Alexandria also offers free transportation to those who want to get vaccinated at the clinic. Call 703-324-7404. 
The CDC has several videos available in American Sign Language on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations. See the playlist. Other COVID-19 resources are available from the Virginia Department of Health
All individuals in the Fairfax Health District who are 12 or older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are FREEof charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. No health insurance is needed. 
The vaccine is available at locations throughout the Fairfax Health District, including private healthcare providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, urgent cares, and the Health Department. To schedule a vaccination appointment, go to or (Spanish) for the widest selection of vaccination locations or visit the Health Department’s website. If you need assistance in another language or are not able to schedule an appointment online at a Fairfax County Health Department clinic, contact our Vaccine Call Center at 703-324-7404. 
The COVID-19 Language Portal has select information about COVID-19 translated into top languages spoken in Fairfax County.
Learn more about COVID-19 on the Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webpage. Call the Health Department at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions or call 703-324-7404 for questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
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Revealing the Champion in all of us...
Please continue to share information about this newsletter and website with those you know in the community so that we can better share the wonder of our special athletes and volunteers. To sign up to receive the newsletter, go to our webform Newsletter Subscription
Area 26 Points of Contact
Area 26 Council

Elaine Tilton

Chuck Adkins-Blanch
Patrick DeLapp
Billy Duquette
Jeffrey Eskridge
Christine Fowler
Max Hershberger
Jay Hoffmeier
Veronica Jennings
Nancy Julia
Abby Lacy
Katherine Martin
Jeff McGiboney
Tejas Patel
Nancy Robbins
Bernie Woolfley
Area 26 Special Olympics |
Season Directors
Elaine Tilton, Fall/Winter

Nancy Julia, Spring/Summer

Barry Tilton

Volunteer Coordinator
Tejas Patel

Athlete Representative
Max Hershberger

Medical Coordinator
Christine Fowler

Senior Director, Potomac Region
Veronica Jennings
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