Local Athlete Wins Gold
By Dave Merchant, Chelsea Guardian
Originally published March 29, 2019
Chelsea has some amazing athletes and Tyler Baxter is definitely one of these. He recently won medals in the Special Olympics in bowling.
Tyler took gold in doubles, silver in singles and bronze in team. His coaches were Katy Fillion along with Saundra Dunn and Mike Fillion. The games took place March 14-21. He is 23 years old and graduated from Chelsea High School in 2013.
“My activities were mostly sports. I was on the bowling team for a few years, about 3 years, and since then have been bowling. I have been competitive bowling since I graduated and I am currently on two leagues,” Tyler said. “Monday night league, I am carrying an average about 200 and on Thursday night about a 200 in that league as well.”
He was also on the football team his senior year and played outside linebacker. Now he is mostly involved with Special Olympics, including basketball, flag football, poly-hockey, track and field, bowling, bocce ball, and snowshoeing.
“I also run in the figure 8 demolition derby,” he said.
The Special Olympics were in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in United Arab Emirates and he said it was absolutely beautiful.
“I did bowling there and carried a 209 average on an extremely accurate shot. I shot a 603 in Division, 603 in singles, a upper 500 series and also had the high series of the whole tournament with a 672 in doubles,” he added.
“It was absolutely amazing and so much fun. We went to the mosque, rode camels, learned about the culture, toured the town, went to the Persian Gulf and boarded and went dune riding on the way to riding camels, and went to a couple amusement parks.”
He made a bunch of new friends from all over the world. “The most memorable ones are from Malta and Canada. They were amazingly friendly on and off of competition and I ended up bowling against both of them,” he said.
“I would definitely do it again. It was such an amazing experience and I was so glad I was picked.”
His mom is Patti Pappas who is married to Chris Pappas. His father is Ruben Baxter who is married to Peggy Baxter. His siblings include Chelsea, Maryanna, Quentin, Lucy, Jason and Jennifer.
“I have so many friends who are like family and my amazing girlfriend, Jamie Strader, who flew out and supported me from the start, besides my parents.”
His advice to younger athletes is solid: “When competing just make sure you have fun whether you win and lose and make friends while you do it. Sometimes you never know when it will be your last chance,” he said.
A huge shout out from him: “Just a huge thank you to friends and family who support me. There was no way I could it without them. From work to family to friends I really couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.