Local Special Olympics soccer team honored with an Espy Award

Land O' Lakes Unified gets an Honorary Espy
Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 03:05:08-04

The best of the sports world will be honored Wednesday night on the 25th annual Espy Awards show. And you can watch it on your ABC Action News station.

But we found out a local Special Olympics Soccer Team was selected to receive an honorary Espy. And we were there as they got their award.

On a hot summer day at Land o' Lakes High School, a group of local athletes receives one the highest honors in sports.

"This is personal. It's a lot of work. People don't realize the work that all the coaches put in and all the volunteers," says coach Vicky King.

King is the coach of the Land o' Lakes Unified, a special Olympics Soccer team that has won state titles in the last four years, even earning a trip to compete in the World Games of 2015.

"The award came as a surprise. It's a great honor. It means your being recognized nationally,"says King.

An award for a team that acts more like a family with athletes and their partners who not play together, but learn from each other as well.

Cameron Hilgenberg is now in college but he keeps coming back to help the team he grew up with.

"I've been involved since Elementary school. I can't get enough. I love the way everyone is accepting," he says.

And now the local student athletes have something in common with the pro's. An honor they earned and that really is special.