Hopewell Sports Nation is providing first time coverage for the Hopewell Special Olympics Bocce Ball team. This week the Bocce Ball team hosted Senior night at the Hopewell High School Gym as they went head to head against West Allegheny. Christopher Nee and Morgan Singeltary are the head coaches for this Team which was started in 2017.
Unified Bocce pairs regular education students with Special Olympics eligible students and competes in the PIAA as an Official Winter Varsity Sport. The goal of Unified Bocce is to provide social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences.
“Unified Bocce has been a great experience for all involved. It provides an opportunity for students that do not normally participate in school sports to experience the thrill of competition and teamwork. Our Hopewell Administration, staff and community have been very supportive of the program.” –Chris Nee
The team did not disappoint with a 3 – 1 victory over a strong West Allegheny squad on senior night. HSN caught up with five of the members of this team and here is what they had to say about their experiences playing Bocce here at Hopewell:
“Bocce has had a positive impact on my life because of the environment. Everyone that plays works together as a team to strategize plays and see what is best. My favorite thing is seeing everyone’s big smiles after a good roll or after a big win, and I think that is one of the most rewarding parts of being on the team. While Bocce is about teamwork and strategy, it is also important to remember to have fun and joke around with each other and we definitely do.” -Reaghan Cody
“Bocce has left a profound impact on me in many ways. I’ve experienced the thrill of going to states with my amazing team during my Sophmore year, which showed me the importance of teamwork. Through four years of playing, I’ve evolved into a mentor for incoming underclassmen, as I have taken on the role of Captain along the side of other Senior classmen and exceptional players. But the most impactful parts of Bocce for me is the excitement leading up to a match and the reaction from my fellow teammates when we bring home a victory. Bocce may be seen as a docile sport, but it’s the strategy and strong team bonding that makes Bocce one of the hardest, but most rewarding sports to play.” – Ean Maxwell
“I love being a part of bocce because it gives the athletes the opportunity to experience winning, losing, and working as a team in a fun environment. ” -Zach
“I really enjoy hanging out with my friends at practice and the matches.” – Gabe Holtschuit-Rousseau
“I really enjoyed all of the people I interacted with. Ryan and his awesome cheers, Bocce Buddies, and my teammates.” – Sharon Chen
“Bocce has deeply impacted my life. Not only have I learned the importance of teamwork and communication, but I have got to experience a new sport. Throughout these four years, I have et teammates who are not only passionate about Bocce, but have the kindest hearts. I will never forget one of our captains in my Freshman and Sophmore years, Ryan. He had so much energy and always cheered us on no matter if we were winning or losing. He never forgot to give us high fives and fist bumps before we left and always made sure to include everyone. Not only that but he encouraged others to become better. Although the ultimate goal of any sport is to win, Bocce has taught me that losing is not a failure. Rather, it is the act of trying and the feeling of accomplishment that come from stepping onto the court.” – Vicki Dong
With one match remaining vs Moon, our teams hope to advance to the playoffs.