Barton to host Special Olympics tennis qualifier

by Benny Benton

WILSON, N.C.-The Barton College Tennis Complex will host one of four East Fall Qualifying events in Wilson for Special Olympics North Carolina on Saturday. The organization will also hold qualifying in soccer and bocce at Gillette Park and golf at Wedgewood Golf Course.

Some 35 to 40 athletes will be competing in tennis to earn a spot in the statewide SONC Fall Tournament Nov. 9 and 10 in High Point, N.C.

"It will be a big weekend for Special Olympics in Wilson, and we are thrilled to have this opportunity to host the tennis event," said Tom Schrecengost, head men's and women's tennis coach at Barton. "As part of hosting, we are also using it as a community engagement activity so that all of my players can take part in the day in one form or another, either helping on the court or the tournament desk or with awards – whatever needs they might have."

Saturday's event is tentatively slated to begin at 9 a.m. and last until around 4 p.m. The qualifier is free to attend, and the public is encouraged to come out and support these athletes.

"This is a great event for the community to come out and see," Schrecengost said. "It will certainly be an outstanding experience for my student-athletes to work with them and to see the dedication of the athletes who are going to be here. Hosting this event will be very beneficial to the community, to our team and to Special Olympics, who are thrilled to be able to play their matches at a facility like ours."