Team Washington Huskies win gold medal at USA Games

Print Article

SEATTLE — Their journey at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle was a dream, playing at the University of Washington soccer stadium, being a part of ESPN’s global coverage and marching into Husky Stadium during the opening ceremonies with an all-star cast, including Pacific Northwest dignitaries Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin and Seattle native Ann Wilson of Heart.

Oh yeah, they’re also national champions.

The Othello Unified soccer team won the Division I (five-on-five) gold medal, avenging a pool play loss to Northern California with a 1-nil victory over that same team on Thursday.

The Washington state champions are bringing home the gold and what a journey it’s been.

“I’ll tell ya what, national champions really means something to us. The kids are all excited and they still haven’t settled down,” Team Washington Huskies coach Kevin McDonald said. “We lost to the same team in pool play. So we had to gather, refocus and get ready to play them again.”

The Division I national field included teams from Kansas, Utah, North and South California, Arizona, Washington (2). So for Team Washington to win at Husky Stadium on the home turf, sorta, it doesn’t get any better than that said Josh Lembcke, who scored the game-winner in both the semifinals and the gold medal match.

“I can’t tell you how exciting it is to come over here and win against all these good teams,” Lembcke said. “It was a little spooky having to play defense for so long in the championship game. But we did it.

“Winning the gold medal means everything to us.”

Division I Washington state champions had 11 qualifying students ranging in age from 15 to 21 years. The team includes Lembcke, Dusty Carlson, Hilario Murillo, Natasha Montejano, Vincent Montejano, Giselle Monroy, Rilee Heist, Carlos Murillo, Christian Quiroz, Candace Montejano and Hunter Sparks.

But on Thursday, on the biggest stage he’s ever played on, the day belonged to Lembcke.

“He struggled (on Wednesday), but he showed up like a Nike star today,” McDonald said. “(In the gold medal game), we scored eight minutes into the game. We scrambled, played defense and were able to hold them off. Josh scored the winning goal in the championship game and had the winning goal in a 3-2 win in the semifinals earlier in the day.”

The 2018 USA Games featured 14 sports in the best sports facilities in the greater Seattle region including the University of Washington, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, King County Aquatic Center, Willows Run Golf Club, Celebration Park, Angle Lake and Kenmore Lanes.

It truly was a gold-medal effort for Team Washington Huskies and McDonald was at the heart of the it.

“We are so excited for this opportunity for our athletes and students of Othello High School” Othello Special Education Director Heidi Wagner said. “A special ‘thank you’ needs to go to Don Bullis, our athletic director, for supporting, scheduling and training coaches. He has even been selected to represent us on a special Unified Sports Advisory Committee for Washington State.”

Team mom Tricia Sparks put it all in perspective.

“Kevin McDonald is nothing short of a dream fulfiller,” she said.

Seattle and the surrounding area made it a week to remember and the Othello contingent learned how to dream big and make it happen.

Game 1

Team Washington Huskies 4, Southern California 1

Goals: Josh Lembcke, Christian Quiroz, Giselle

Monroy and Hilario Murillo

Game 2

Team Washington Huskies 2, Washington Titans 1

Goals: Hilario Murillo (2)

Game 3

Team Washington Huskies 4, Arizona 1

Goals: Josh Lembcke, Giselle Monroy (2), own goal

Game 4

Team Washington Huskies 3, Utah 0

Goals: Josh Lembcke, Giselle Monroy and

Natasha Montejano

Game 5

Team Washington Huskies 3, Kansas 1

Goals: Hilario Murillo, Giselle Monroy and

Hunter Sparks

Game 6

Northern California 5, Team Washington Huskies 3

Goals: Hilario Murillo (2), Christian Quiroz


Team Washington Huskies 3, Washington

Titans 2 (OT)

Goals: Hilario Murillo, Dusty Carlson,

Josh Lembcke

Gold medal game

Team Washington Huskies 1, Northern California 0

Goal: Josh Lembcke

Print Article

Read More Sports

Othello wins Schutte Invite

December 12, 2018 at 2:48 pm | The Royal Register OTHELLO — The circle is what they have in common. It’s continuous, no beginning, no end. On one side there was the legend wearing his Washington Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame jacket, returning to t...


Read More

Basketball roundup: Othello boys hold off East Valley

December 12, 2018 at 2:48 pm | The Royal Register OTHELLO — A year ago, first-year coach Roman Pruneda put in the work to begin reshaping the basketball culture. This past summer, his players matched that with hard work of their own. On Friday nigh...


Read More

Ruben Martinez returns to the Schutte Invitational

December 12, 2018 at 2:48 pm | The Royal Register OTHELLO — It seemed only right that the old school was there on Saturday night at the Leonard Schutte Invitational at PJ Taggares Gymnasium in Othello. Moses Lake coach Ron Siebel (1976-2004)...


Read More

Othello's Mendez named WIAA Athlete of the Week

December 06, 2018 at 4:30 pm | RENTON — Othello junior Emily Mendez was named to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association WIAA/Wendy’s Athlete of the Week list for Week 14 (Nov. 25-Dec. 1) on Wednesday. ...

Read More

Contact Us

705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2018 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy