Congratulations to our 2023 Unified Bocce State Championship qualifiers!

Is anyone else craving chocolate?! 🍫🎉

Eight INCREDIBLE Unified Bocce teams from throughout Pennsylvania have qualified for the PIAA-Interscholastic Unified Bocce State Championship in Hershey on March 23rd!

This week, Special Olympics Pennsylvania held four regional events — at Geneva College, Glenn Mills Schools, Penn State DuBois and Penn State Schuylkill — to see which teams would advance to the big dance!

After the balls rolled and the PVC settled, these are the eight teams who will be competing for the title in two weeks:

🔴 Chartiers Valley School District

🟢 Ellwood City Area School District

🔴 Garnet Valley School District

🟢 Greencastle-Antrim High School

🔴 Harbor Creek School District

🟢 Pennridge School District

🔴 St. Marys Area School District

🟢 Susquenita School District

Congratulations to ALL of our Unified Bocce teams throughout the state! The sport is truly BOOMING in Pennsylvania schools and your commitment to upholding a high standard of competition while also ensuring whole-school engagement and inclusion for all is truly inspiring!

Best of luck to our State Championship qualifiers and stay tuned for much more to come!

Thank you to: The PIAA, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Aramark, Pennsylvania Department of Education

2022 USA Games: Total Medal Count

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando came to a close one week ago today! We can’t believe it’s already been a week since we celebrated all of our incredible Team Pennsylvania athletes. And, in honor of this anniversary, we wanted to publish this list of ALL the medals and awards won by our incredible team during our time in Florida! We’re so proud of all the coaches, athletes, staff and everyone in-between who made this possible! Stay tuned for photo albums from USA Games and Summer Games coming in the next two weeks!

TEAM PENNSYLVANIA – 2022 Special Olympics USA Games
TOTAL MEDALS: 99 (35 Gold, 31 Silver, 33 Bronze)

Team Sports

Basketball, Fourth

(Patrick Carney, Shane Frank, Ethan Fraterman, Corey Gerber, Patrick Montgomery, Jordan Schubert, Daveon Wheeler)

Flag Football, Bronze

(Devon Clements, Lenwood Dennis, Lavar Gladden, Kenneth Lamont, Denzel McFadden, Abdul Muhammad, JaBari Patterson, Christopher Ray, Andre Richardson, Jose Serrano, Paris Wallace)

Soccer, Gold

(Shawn Andrews, Johnathan Ashton, Tyler Baumgartner, Greg Bazzoli, Kathryn Day, Nancy Grimm, Justin Guthrie, Joshua Hubbard, Andrew Knight, Jackson Knight, Andrew Mayer)

Softball, Bronze

(Nathan Boyle, Karla Garr, Daniel Hogan, Seth Holland, Brandon Krekeler, Donald Laudenslager, Joshua Moore, Bradley Moyer, Timothy Moyer, Christina Saraceno, Hilary Stonewall, Joni Talavera, Christian Vegas, Audrey Yanacek, Christopher Wasiewicz)

Volleyball, Silver

(Todd Corman, John Garlock, Emily Koontz, James Milliken, Austin Milliken, Chris Nichols, TJ Richert, Jon Richert, Dena Russ, Christian Shangraw, McKenzie Wagner, Greg Zimmerman)


Sydney Benner
Gold, mini-javelin
Fifth, 100m
Eighth, 200m

Jason Bilger
Sixth, mini-javelin
Sixth, 200m
Eighth, 100m

Tabatha Bilger
Gold, mini-javelin
Fourth, 100m walk
Fourth, 400m walk

Maria Daniella Brandt
Gold, 5k
Gold, 10k
Silver, 3000m

Matthew Himmelreich
Bronze, Heptathlon

Jessica Hott
Silver, 800m
Fourth, 400m
Seventh, 1500m

Daniel Maier
Bronze, 400m
Silver, shot put
Eighth, 800m

Michael Walker
Silver, 100m walk
Bronze, mini-javelin
Fourth, 400m walk


Gold, Unified (Allison Anderson, Jesse Graham, John Graham, Erin Lehman)
Gold, (Melissa Holt, Seth Krokonko, Anne Luley, Brett Newman)
Gold, (Matt Anthony, Nicholas Boone, Jacob Carey, Johanna Schoeneck)

Jacob Carey & Johanna Schoeneck, Silver
Melissa Holt & Anne Luley, Bronze
Seth Krokonko & Brett Newman, Silver
Matt Anthony & Nicholas Boone, Silver

Unified Doubles:
Jesse Graham & John Graham, Bronze
Erin Lehman & Allison Anderson, Silver

Allison Anderson, Fourth
Matthew Anthony, Bronze
Nicholas Boone, Silver
Jacob Carey, Gold
Jesse Graham, Fifth
Melissa Holt, Fourth
Seth Krokonko, Bronze
Anne Luely, Bronze
Brett Newman, Gold
Johanna Schoeneck, Silver


Gold, Unified (Byron Keith-Diemer, Sean Loner, Christian Murphy, Dyan Wilson)
Gold (Chassidy Addelman, Lillie Baum, Nicholas Mazzocco, Heather Saylor)
Silver (Alex Lesse, Samantha Konowal, Kevin Rathgeber, Alex Stefano)

Chassidy Addelman & Alex Stefano, Gold
Lillie Baum & Heather Saylor, Gold
Samantha Konowal & Kevin Rathgeber, Fourth
Alex Lesse & Nicholas Mazzocco, Silver

Unified Doubles:
Sean Loner & Byron Keith-Diemer, Fifth
Dyan Wilson & Christian Murphy, Bronze

Chassidy Addelman, Gold
Lillie Baum, Fifth
Byron Keith-Diemer, Seventh
Samantha Konowal, Sixth
Alex Lesse, Fifth
Nicholas Mazzocco, Silver
Christian Murphy, Fifth
Kevin Rathgeber, Sixth
Heather Saylor, Gold
Alexander Stefano, Sixth


Caroline Kilareski
Silver, dressage
Fourth, English working trails
Bronze, English equitation

Anthony Timinski
Silver, English equitation
Fifth, English working trails


Jennifer Bottomley, Silver
Nicholas McNally, Gold, skills
Zachary Hicks, Bronze
Megaehen Lewis, Gold, skills
Cody Sedziak, Gold, skills


Molly Hosey
Bronze, All-Around
Bronze, Bars
Bronze, Beam
Silver, Floor
Bronze, Vault

Kyrie Troche
Gold, All-Around
Silver, Bars
Silver, Beam
Gold, Floor
Gold, Vault

Zarrah Vitale
Gold All-Around
Bronze, Bars
Silver, Beam
Bronze, Floor
Bronze, Vault

Simone Williams
Silver, All-Around
Bronze, Bars
Gold, Beam
Bronze, Floor
Bronze, Vault


Joshua Poleshuk
Silver, bench press

Delina Rodrigues
Silver, bench press
Silver, combined
Silver, deadlift
Silver, squat


Matthew Bakalorz
Gold, 100 yd freestyle
Sixth, 50 yd backstroke
Fourth, 50yd freestyle

Joel Blazure
Gold, 25 yd freetyle
Sixth, 25 yd backstroke

Jessica Bloom
Gold, 25 yd freestyle
Gold, 25 yd backstroke

Nissi Bolash
Fourth, 200 yd freestyle
Fourth, 500 yd freestyle
Seventh, 100 yd freestyle

Lisa Clearfield
Fifth, 50 yd freestyle
Bronze, 100 yd freestyle

Kevin Lezynski
Bronze, 100m freestyle
Fifth, 100m backstroke
Sixth, 200m freestyle

Lily Seagraves
Gold, 25yd backstroke
Silver, 50 yd freestyle
Fifth, 50yd backstroke

Marty Zeamer
Bronze, 50yd freestyle
Seventh, 50yd backstroke

Bronze, 4×25 yd freestyle relay (Joel Blazure, Jessica Bloom, Lisa Clearfield, Marty Zeamer)


Daniel Blatt & Carol Dorohovech, Gold
Garran Burget & Kaitlyn Good, Fourth

Daniel Blatt, Gold
Garran Burget, Bronze
Carol Dorohovech, Gold
Kaitlyn Good, Fourth

Unified Track & Field

Unified Team Event: 5th Place (33 points)

Faith Atkins
Silver, 100m
Bronze, shot put

Ontea Gates
Gold, 100m
Fourth, long jump

Ella Krajewski
Sixth, 100m
Gold, long jump

Anthony McKenna
Sixth, 100m
Fifth, shot put

Elias Norton-Rivera
Bronze, long jump
Fourth, 400m

Jessalyn Peters
Bronze, 400m run

Thomas Ruiz
Silver, 100m
Silver, shot put

Haden Williams
Bronze, 100m
Gold, shot put

Silver, 4×100 Unified relay (Ontea Gates, Ella Krajewski, Jessalyn Peters, Haden Williams)

2022 USA Games: Team Pennsylvania Reactions

We’ve got the PERFECT way to start your Monday morning. Seriously.

A while back, we asked everyone to film their friends & family members watching our 2022 Special Olympics USA Games Selection Show in order to capture their reactions in the event they were picked to compete.

Well, now that the Games are two weeks away and Team Pennsylvania is all set to crush it in Orlando, we’re honored to share this video with you. Our athletes and volunteers train so diligently throughout the year and seeing how much this opportunity means to our Special Olympics Pennsylvania family truly brings us as much joy as is expressed in these clips.

Special shoutout Special Olympics Global Ambassador Joe Haden for helping us surprise several athletes — who thought they were attending a boring meeting — via Zoom!

YOUR HOME for everything Team PA at the 2022 USA Games!

Team Pennsylvania is ready for the Special Olympics 2022 USA Games in Orlando, Florida!!

In just two weeks — from June 5-12 — 164 athletes, coaches and staff from Pennsylvania will travel to Orlando to compete at the 5th USA Games! The USA Games occur once every four years and unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. More than 125,000 spectators are expected to bring tons of energy to the eight-day event.

Athletes representing Pennsylvania will compete across 14 different sports (Athletics, Unified Track & Field, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Equestrian, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Powerlifting, Swimming, Tennis, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball). If you’re not able to be with us in Orlando, you’ll want to follow us on social media and keep it glued to our website for all the latest updates from the Games. In addition, be sure to tune in to ESPN, which will be providing coverage of the Games all week!

Special Olympics Pennsylvania athletes train hard for the opportunity to compete at a nationwide event and we absolutely can not wait to showcase the amazing members of Team PA and all they’re going to accomplish in Florida!

To stay locked in on all the action, just follow these links:
TikTok ????? (stay tuned!)

#TeamPA | #ShineAsOne | #InclusionRevolution

SOPA finishes 2nd in NIRSA Unified Rocket League Tournament

Last week, SOPA Unified, an eSports team representing Special Olympics Pennsylvania competed in the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Unified Rocket League Championship tournament! The team, consisting of four Special Olympics Pennsylvania athletes and one coach from the Greater Lehigh Valley Pocono Region, faced Utah Gamurs in the final and fell just short of winning the whole thing, claiming a silver medal in the 4-2 best-of-seven series loss.

Since October, 2021, SOPA Unified has played Rocket League — a video game that combines soccer and car racing — every Wednesday night. The team members, Dylan Smith, Brandon Batres, Richard Klingensmith and Juvantie Ortiz, as well as coach Cody Dalton, have different experience levels playing Rocket League, but focused on building team chemistry and encouraging one another all season en route to making the finals in their inaugural campaign.

Everyone on the team, aka The Demo Squad, loves eSports and the weekly competition and bonding sessions have brought everyone close together.

If you’d like to watch a replay of the finals against Special Olympics Utah, please click here.

Meet the Team
Dylan Smith (Team Berks): Has been playing Rocket League for less than a year, enjoys working out and making scarves.

Brandon Batres (Team Lehigh): Has been playing Rocket League for less than a year, enjoys traveling and playing soccer.

Richard Klingensmith (Team Lehigh): Has been playing Rocket league for three years, enjoys playing video games and sports.

Juvantie Ortiz (Team Lehigh): Has been playing Rocket League for one year, enjoys hockey and hanging out with friends.