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Seth Grooms a silver lining during pandemic

By Katie Brewer

and Grace Matthews

For the Enterprise

Special Olympics Davie County (SODC) has found a silver lining during the COVID-19 pandemic: Seth Grooms.

Local athlete, motivator, friend and advocate of all things Davie County, Grooms continues to bring inspiration and athleticism to the forefront despite the challenges of an international pandemic.

The parent organization to SODC, Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC), has canceled state-level events and competitions since March 2020 due to the specific health vulnerability of the athletic population served by SONC. The organization has also canceled state-level events through the upcoming spring season, but allowed athletes to start training locally under specific safety criteria at the beginning of the current fall season.

Not ones to miss an opportunity to hit the greens, Grooms and his Unified Partner Sandra Boyette began training at Pudding Ridge Golf Course to hone their skills and hopefully prepare for the 2021 SONC season.

This marks Groom’s 19th year of golfing for SODC. Throughout this time, Pudding Ridge has sponsored Grooms’s journey through 18 holes of athleticism, passion for Davie County and representation of the spirit of Special Olympics International as he prepares for his yearly journey to the SONC Fall Tournament. Numerous times, Grooms has earned recognition as a top golfer in his SONC division and medaled in gold.

Grooms and Boyette’s last training session was Nov. 6. Grooms arrived as he always does: with a smile on his face, unending gratitude and determination for a triumphant final day on the course.

“Seth has been participating since he was 8 and he’s 39 now,” Boyette said. “Pudding Ridge has been sponsoring him since he’s been golfing. Everybody has a special spot for Seth.”

Wanting to find a way to recognize Grooms for his training season since it did not end with an SONC competition, Davie County Schools Athletics jumped at the chance to make Groom’s last training memorable. Cheer coach Angie Stage coordinated special appearances of cheerleaders Abby Hicks and Maddie Kulis and Jordan Coner as the Eagles mascot to congratulate Grooms on his season and present him with a commemorative picture of a soaring Eagle with the title of Excellence.

A fitting motto for an athlete that represents the definition of excellence in the goal of SONC – to participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship – something Grooms was able to conquer and achieve this season despite the pandemic.

Final score: Grooms 1, COVID-19 0.

For more information on volunteering, coaching or participating in SODC, email davie@sonc.net.