Special Olympics Louisiana Athlete Finds Strength and Camaraderie Behind Home Plate
By Nance Larsen
July 17, 2018
Special Olympics athlete Logan Dahlquist has a lot to smile about; he just finished pharmacy tech school, he has worked at the Wetlands Golf Course in Lafayette, Louisiana, for five years as the golf cart manager, and is a member of the 4-time state softball championship team.
On the diamond, Logan, wearing #10, plays in the number 1 spot on the field as catcher, allowing a commanding view of the field. This is a role he has grown into having struggled in high school to find his place. The field and his teammates are now his family and through a common love of sports and the game of softball, they have helped Logan emerge into a confident leader. In this role, he promotes a positive attitude among all players and a one-for-all challenge. They truly live their team motto “Stronger Together,” a chant frequently heard throughout six innings of play.
“We are a family on and off the field brought together by a game we love,” says a passionate Logan.
The Unified team of eight athletes and seven partners, including two brothers, a father-son combo and a coach-son tandem, has gone four years undefeated, suffering their first loss at the 2018 USA Games according to coach Ted Sandoz.
“This team gives me 100 percent on the field, feeding off each other and working in unison – an effort that Logan definitely leads,” said Sandoz.
Logan’s mom and dad, Rhonda and Darryl, say they didn’t raise Logan as a child with a disability, just that he achieved things differently. “We always encouraged Logan to try new things without limits,” says Rhonda.
His parents credit Special Olympics as the game changer in Logan’s life, noting that the program was another catalyst in building Logan’s confidence. He currently serves as a Youth Leader in the Louisiana Special Olympics program.
Logan qualified for the 2018 USA Games in both softball and golf, the latter in which he has held the title of state champion for six years running. In addition to softball and golf, Logan also plays basketball and volleyball.