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Woodhaven hosts annual Warrior Games with Downriver Arc PHOTO GALLERY

  • On Jan. 17, the Woodhaven basketball program hosted its annual Warrior Games, a day in which the Downriver Arc program comes to play against boys' and girls' JV and Varsity players of Woodhaven High School. Photos by Mike Elliott
  • On Jan. 17, the Woodhaven basketball program hosted its annual Warrior Games, a day in which the Downriver Arc program comes to play against boys' and girls' JV and Varsity players of Woodhaven High School. Photos by Mike Elliott

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Check out another photo gallery from the day

Check out another photo gallery from the day

Giving back to the community is an important part of the Woodhaven basketball team’s season and each year both the boys’ and girls’ teams come together for the opportunity.

On Jan. 17, the teams spent the day in the Woodhaven gym hosting their fourth annual Warrior Games in collaboration with the Downriver Arc program.

Arc Downriver is a local organization based out of Wyandotte, which works directly with both children and adults with varying levels of intellectual and other related developmental disabilities, along with their families.

For the past four years, the Woodhaven basketball program has hosted Arc in the Warrior Games; a day full of basketball games where the Arc athletes compete against the boys’ and girls’ JV and Varsity players from Woodhaven.

There were six games throughout the day and Arc members were each awarded with a medal upon completing their game.

This year, Arc went a perfecto 6-0 against the Woodhaven athletes.

Woodhaven JV Coach Mike Brennan helped collaborate the initial Warrior Games and says it’s a great opportunity for members on both sides of the court.

“We started this four years ago, trying to give the kids in the program a close experience with our experience with spotlight introductions, with the scorers table and the big crowds,” he said. “It’s a great time (and) a lot of our players think it’s the best day of the year.

“They look forward to it every year.”

Arc President Jim Dickinson enjoys the Warrior Games and said both sides take so much out of the day.

“I think it’s a great event for both Arc and the community of Woodhaven and the surrounding communities because this gives a chance for us to interact with the community and get them to kind of know us and for us to know them,” he said. “The athletes from Woodhaven have been just so excellent; they have been overwhelmingly great.

“I think they’re having as much of a good time doing this as our athletes are.”

Arc players Kari Meninger and Tony Roasti enjoy the opportunity to participate in the Warrior Games.

Meninger has been playing basketball for 10 years and Rosati participated in his second Warrior Games over the weekend.

Both agreed that the day was full of fun and that the Warriors were not much competition.

“Not really (tough competition),” Meninger said. “We made it too easy.”

Varsity junior Summer Patterson says the day is a special one for her and her fellow athletes.

“It’s really great for our community and our school and it gets everybody involved and makes their days a lot better,” she said.

Seeing how much the Arc players enjoy the day is special to Patterson.

“It’s great when you get to give them the medal because they smile and it’s just something you don’t get to see every day,” she said. “To see these kids and have fun; they just love every minute of this.”

The 2015 Warrior Games were a hit at Woodhaven and Dickinson says he enjoys seeing the growth in the program and looks forward to the future.

“It’s been expanding every year,” he said. “More and more people have been getting involved and it’s pretty awesome.

“This is the fourth year and I hope we have many more. We’ve also expanded and now we’re doing softball in the summer.”

Last Updated: 1/18/2015 8:59:01 PM EST