They have became a fixture at the event after winning the national championship the last two years.

The Fighting Peacocks from Delaware County will travel this week to Bismarck, North Dakota to compete in the North American Special Olympics Softball Nationals.

The team has one goal in mind - making it a three peat win.

“We have competed at the national now for five years also," explains Alicia Jory, Fighting Peacock coach. "We won third the first year we competed, second the second year and then won the national championship the last two years.

"We are now going for a three peat this year."

Jory said it's amazing to watch her team react, as they win accolades. 

“It is a huge thing for these guys to win state or nationals," Jory said. "I like to compare it when the OU women won their championship this year.

"The tears and the dog pile they had out on the field. That is the same feeling these guys have when they win. It is just as important to them as it is for the players at OU when they won. That is the only way I can explain it."

Jory, who coaches the team alongside Clayton "Doo" Foreman, said the group has evolved in the last few years. 

“It just amazing to watch them to go from where they could barely hit the ball to where they are doing everything right," Jory said. "The team is so competitive. They are harder on themselves than anyone else is on them. They love the game and love to play.

The team leaves Wednesday, Aug. 16, for North Dakota. Jory said the team's biggest competition comes from Illinois and Georgia based teams.

“They are the two teams we have had the stiffest competition with the last two years," Jory said. "The championship games are so competitive."

The Peacocks faced the team from Illinois in last year's championship game.

"It has been between the Peacocks and the team from Illinois the last two years in the finals," Jory said. "The team from Georgia has become more competitive the last two years. With every team it is so competitive, the competition is crazy."

The athletes on the teams include Joseph Maddox, Brad Tanner, Michael Vaughn, Luke Goldman, Brandon Davis and Joey Ross.

“I like going because I get to go to different states. It is good to be able to go for another championship. I really like playing on this team and going on the trips,” said Maddox.

The volunteer partners for the team are Eric Jackson, Tyler O’Field, Rob Cearley, Walter Crane, Gage Foreman and Dillon Pruitt.

“The volunteer partners are people from the community. They have other jobs and have to take off work and away from their families to help with this team," Jory said. "This is something they love as well to be apart of this team. They bring the competition level up so much more, and help the athletes be better."

For the volunteers, being with the team is the main reward.

“It is for the athletes to help them out," Gage Foreman said. "When they won nationals it has been one of the best things I have ever seen to see them excited."

O'Field agreed. 

“I really love watching the athletes play and seeing them win nationals is amazing," O'Field said. "I love seeing how excited the athletes get. I may not mean much to some people. But it is a big deal to them. I is just a great experience to be a part of it."

It takes a matching number of volunteers on the field, as players.

Jory said it breaks down to five in the infield and five in the outfield.

This summer, the team prepared for the competition in a new way. 

“This year we competed in a co-ed league in Grove through the [Grand Lake Family YMCA]," Jory said. "The love they have for the game is unreal. It has made us so much better.

Sarah Rice serves as the team’s manager, a person, who Jory said is indispensable. 

Ultimately, Jory said, she loves watching her team succeed.

“Seeing then accomplish something they didn’t think they could is so amazing," Jory said. "When we are behind and we come from behind and win it is a great thing to witness to watch their reaction.”