Mt. Vernon Register-News


June 19, 2011

Local woman receives the 2011 Special Olympics Illinois Outstanding Coach of the Year award

MT. VERNON — Linda Krikie, the coach of the Special Olympics team, the Jefferson County Jets, recently received the 2011 Special Olympics Illinois Outstanding Coach of the Year award.

Krikie created the JC Jets team, who play basketball and track and field so far, because state funding was cut from the Mt. Vernon organization. The team began competing in late August 2010, Krikie said.

She said she was very surprised to receive the award, which was announced May 6 at the track and field competition her athletes competed in.

“It was wonderful to receive the award, but I always say that I couldn’t do it without the help I have,” Krikie said. “They deserve a pat on the back as much as anyone.”

She said the reception held June 10 where she received the award was lovely. She said she attended with her son, Manny McClellan, her adopted son, Justin Pitchford, volunteer Patty Hill and Brian Jennings, a volunteer from the Mt. Vernon Fire Department. She said all the police officers who participated in this year’s Torch Run were also present.

Krikie thanked her athletes, parents, sponsors and volunteers for their help, cooperation and enthusiasm throughout this year.

The JC Jets team has nearly 50 members after starting out with 13, Krikie said, and has male and female athletes between the ages of 19 and 47.

Krikie said her favorite accomplishment this year was to take the team to the state basketball competition and come back with the gold.

In addition, she said she was touched by the accomplishments of one of the members of her team.

“A blind man, Craig Humphrey, played softball for the first time with a beeper ball,” she said. “You should have seen the first time. It was just amazing.”

Krikie said next year, the JC Jets are looking forward to starting a swim team and possibly a volleyball team, but competing in the sports events for Special Olympics is not the only thing the team does.

She said this year, the team has taken a trip to watch a Southern Illinois Miners game, and they look forward to taking a camping trip and seeing the tractor pull in Mt. Vernon.

“Some of this is things they’ve never been able to do before,” Krikie said. “I’m trying to keep something every month for them to do.”

Krikie said since the team’s inception, people and businesses have “come out of the woodwork” to support the team with sponsorships and volunteering.

“It’s been nice,” she said, adding that the team is always looking for more sponsors and volunteers as it expands in members. 

She said the support and the help of the community has been overwhelming.

“We are happily growing,” she said. “The team is about building confidence, trust and friendship. It’s a big thing for some of these guys.”

Text Only
  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millions of Android phones, tablets vulnerable to Heartbleed bug

    Millions of smartphones and tablets running Google's Android operating system have the Heartbleed software bug, in a sign of how broadly the flaw extends beyond the Web and into consumer devices.

    April 11, 2014

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 9, 2014

  • To get quality care, it helps to be the right kind of patient

    I am a family physician. Sometimes I must step out of the comfort of my clinical role and into that of patient or family caregiver. Generally, these trips to the other side of the exam table inspire a fair amount of anxiety.

    April 8, 2014

  • A man with amnesia taught us how memories become personal

    Although not as celebrated as the late American amnesiac H.M., for my money K.C. taught us more important and poignant things about how memory works. He showed how we make memories personal and personally meaningful. He also had a heck of a life story.

    April 7, 2014

  • Long-term unemployed are still strong hires, study shows

    People who have been out of work for an extended period, once hired, tend to be just as productive on the job as those with more typical work histories, according to an analysis of almost 20,000 employees.

    April 4, 2014

  • Hate With Friends, the fun new Facebook tool

    Hating movies, earworms, conventions of grammar, clothing brands, diet fads - you get the twinkle of pleasure without the glob of guilt, or the cold brush of fear. A Coldplay song doesn't know you hate it.

    April 2, 2014

  • how-i-met-your-mother.jpg Legendary? Breaking down the HIMYM finale on social media

    After nine years and more than 200 episodes, the landmark CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" wrapped up Monday night with several twists in the story that left its fans sharply divided. Here is a sampling of viewer reaction.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates