by Brad Lake

Thomas Green accepts the Perkins/Cottee Sportsmanship Award at the 2017 State Fall Games presented by Real Estate One Charitable Foundation.

Thomas Green, a Special Olympics Michigan athlete from Houghton Lake, was named the 2017 Perkins/Cottee Sportsmanship Award recipient on Friday, September 29, during the State Fall Games Opening Ceremony presented by Real Estate One Charitable Foundation.

Green has been a strong competitor and exceptional leader for Special Olympics Michigan for 10 years. On the soccer field, Green has been a role model to his teammates, coaches, and even opposing athletes with his class and sportsmanship. He radiates positivity and constantly strives to help those around him.

"When I won [the award], I was very excited," said Green. "My heart was pounding super-fast, I thought I might fall out my chair."

Coaches have called Green "a coach's dream" because of his work ethic in practice and his positive approach to competition. No matter where the coach puts him on the pitch, he is ready to compete and to help others around him become better athletes and better people.

The Perkins/Cottee Sportsmanship Award is presented to a State Fall Games soccer athlete who displays teamwork, is a gracious winner or loser - accepting the challenge in either outcome, and exhibits a positive attitude towards Special Olympics competition.