Lewistown athlete headed to national Special Olympics

By WEEK Producer

June 12, 2014 Updated Jun 12, 2014 at 8:11 PM CDT

LEWISTOWN, Ill. -- William Grosclaude loves his job groundskeeping at Lewistown Elementary School. But he's really looking forward to the job ahead of him.

On Friday, William leaves for Trenton, New Jersey, where he'll compete in the Special Olympics USA Games. He'll represent Illinois in volleyball.

"I used to play in a church league for a while and then they didn't have it," said Grosclaude of how he got started in the sport. "(Then) a couple of guys told me (about) a volleyball league and they were going to play and they got me into playing volleyball again."

William's no rookie when it comes to Special Olympics. He's been competing on the state level for eight years. And he's come a long way since those first events as a teenager.

"He's grown, not only into a better athlete than he was, but he's also grown as a person," said William's mother, Deb Grosclaude. "(He's) more confident in himself and (more) able to talk to other people. And he's not nervous about new events that he's experienced with Special Olympics."

If he's nervous about nationals he sure hides it well. What he won't hide is his appreciation for being invited to compete on a big stage.

"It means a lot to me because my teammates and my coach have been there," William said.

And now he'll be able to say he's been there too.