Monday, February 19 , 2018, 9:31 am | Fair 51º


Chris Powers is First Recipient of Chris Casebeer Special Olympics Athlete of Month Award

Chris Powers has been described as a “man for all seasons” because he plays sports year round for the Special Olympics of Santa Barbara

Chris Powers plays seven sports for Special Olympics of Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Chris Powers plays seven sports for Special Olympics of Santa Barbara.

“He plays bocce, basketball, softball, soccer, track & field, swimming and volleyball,” said coach Jerry Siegel.

Powers was honored as the Chris Casebeer Special Olympics Athlete of the Month at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.

The Round Table announced the award was being named after former organiaztion president Chris Casebeer, who passed away from cancer last year. Casebeer was president when the Special Olympics Award started. He remained an ardent supporter of the award and the Special Olympics program after his term.

In addition to renaming the award, the Round Table announced it was donating $100 to Special Olympics each month it's presented

Powers is the first recipient of the newly named award. 

Said Siegel of Powers: “He’s a terrific athlete and one of the terrific things about him is he’s a great teammate. He’s very supportive of his teammates… he’s a coach’s dream and a pleasure to coach.”

Powers helped his team win the silver medal in soccer at the Fall Games in Orange County. He was the goalkeeper for the 5-player team.

Santa Barbara and Bakersfield were tied at 2-2 after regulation and a 10-minute overtime. In a shootout to determine a winner, he defended all three penalty kicks he faced, leaving the score tied.

The teams went to a sudden-death shootout and Powers was one of the shooters.

“He puts it in and we just went nuts,” said Siegel. “I’m honored to give this award to Chris.”

Tim Philibosian, regional manager for Special Olympics, said the program is adding flag football to its spring sports season (swimming, bocce, basketball, track & field) and he’s looking for coaches.

He encouraged high school and college students that need volunteer hours to check it out.

“They’ll make a lot of friends and have a good time,” he said.

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