Florence USD just recently wrapped up the K-8 Baseball/Softball season, and what a great year it was! For two players on the Walker Butte "B" Baseball Team, though, the win for the championship was especially sweet. Adonnis Smith and Gunner Debusk are student athletes with autism who experienced competitive sports at Walker Butte for the first time.
According to Dr. Ginni Schuss, Director of Exceptional Student Services for Florence USD and President Elect of the Special Education Administrators of Arizona (SEAA), children who are affected by autism generally have difficulty with communication and social interaction. "They tend to be very literal thinkers.
In a society that uses metaphors and hyperbole as a matter of course, navigating normal conversation can be confusing." She added, "It's great that the boys were able to participate on the team, but it's just as great that the team was able to interact with Adonnis and Gunner and find out that, despite a few differences in the way they think, they're really just regular boys, not so different from anybody else."
After the game, Adonnis and Gunner shared their excitement with Principal John Allee by presenting him with a signed baseball. Mr. Allee praised their efforts, "Adonnis and Gunner excel in the classroom and on the field. Both boys were vital parts of the championship season. I couldn't be more proud of them and the whole team!"
FUSD K-8 Baseball/Softball Championship results were:
- "B" Baseball: Walker Butte Coyotes defeated the Florence Gophers 5-4.
- "B" Softball: Florence Gophers defeated the Magma Ranch Mustangs 15-5.
- "A" Baseball: Skyline Ranch Bulldogs defeated the Anthem Eagles 3-1.
- "A" Softball: Florence Gophers defeated the Circle Cross Cheetahs 10-4.