The Alexandria Area Special Olympics basketball team went to Fergus Falls on April 25 and came back with a team championship in the tournament to secure a spot at state.

The Alexandria Red Bulls went 2-0 in the tournament, beating Fergus Falls in a 54-16 game in the opener before a 45-11 win over Moorhead in game two. That secured them first place and advanced them to the state tournament, which will be held June 25-27 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The Red Bulls finished third at state in 2018.

The games at the regional tournament in Fergus Falls were highlighted by a first-half buzzer beater from Travis Schmidt in game one, and back-to-back threes from Dan Niedenfuer and Matt Schmid near the end of game two.

“This team is so fun to coach, as you can see the excitement on each athlete as they build their skills,” coach Chris Poshek said. “The Red Bulls are in their second year of being a part of the local Alexandria Area Special Olympics program. Some of these athletes will move on to unified flag football, which will start in July.”

Katie Anderson and Kerri Wilkins help Poshek as assistant coaches for the local basketball team. Players at the tournament included Julie Schmidt (player-coach), Ann Schmiek, Natasha Randall, Amanda Nelson, Johnaton Kohls, Matt Schmid, Chad Saltmarsh, Torii Erickson, Gideon Hartsell, Travis Schmidt, Joshua Koellin, Dan Niedenfuer and Becky Saltmarsh (player-coach). Other players on the team that were not able to make the tournament are Dalin Reiter, Ron Younggren, Derrick Sorenson and Heidi Goodin.