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Jets meet Cardinals

A Cardinal from Vern Riffe finds himself surrounded during a basketball game against the Open Door School Jets Thursday at the Conley Center at Ironton High School.

A Cardinal from Vern Riffe finds himself surrounded during a basketball game against the Open Door School Jets Thursday at the Conley Center at Ironton High School.

 

Exhibition game part of March awareness

 

The Ironton High School gymnasium was packed Thursday morning for an exhibition basketball game between the Ironton Open Door School Jets and the Vern Riffe Cardinals of Portsmouth.

Ironton High School students, staff from both schools and parents were all cheering on the teams in the game. Half of the Ironton High School students cheered on the Jets while the other half cheered for the Cardinals. The St. Joseph High School senior class was also at the game to cheer the teams on.

“It’s big for our kids to play in front of such a big crowd, and it’s big for the Ironton High School students to see Open Door School show off their skills a little bit,” Tim Nunnery, personnel director of the Lawrence County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said. “We’re starting to make this game a tradition for March Developmental Disabilities month.”

Before the game started, each team and each team’s cheerleaders were introduced.

Open Door School principal Kendra Heim knows how much this game means to the children.

“This game means everything. The kids love it, the staff loves it, parents love it,” she said. “They haven’t been able to play a lot of games because of the weather, so this year we’ve been really pumped up for it. It’s just a great day. I can’t say enough about Ironton for doing this for us and how much it means to us.”

At halftime, the players and students at the game got together in the middle of the court and danced before the start of the second half.

“I think this is one of the best and most inspiring events for our students to be able to cheer for people that are less fortunate in terms of their disabilities,” Ironton superintendent Dean Nance said. “It’s inspiring to see how important this game is to the two teams that we’ve hosted and it’s something that we plan on continuing to do in the future.”