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
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
(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)
(Shawn Andrews, Johnathan Ashton, Tyler Baumgartner, Greg Bazzoli, Kathryn Day, Nancy Grimm, Justin Guthrie, Joshua Hubbard, Andrew Knight, Jackson Knight, Andrew Mayer)
(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)
(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
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!
On May 11th, C.C.A. Baldi Middle School, Louis Farrell Elementary and Bache-Martin School participated in the 2022 Unified Bocce at the Ballpark with the Philadelphia Phillies!
Unified sports pairs people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team! The Phillies’ front office staff came out to participate in the event, along with former Phillies Mickey Morandini and Milt Thompson and announcer Scott Graham! We can’t thank the Phillies enough for all of their support and energy and for cultivating such an inclusive atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park!
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.