Four Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Unified Indoor Bocce teams competed at the Interscholastic Unified Sports State Invitational held Feb. 13 at Hagerstown Community College. A team from La Plata High School took first place in division four of the event, and a Maurice J. McDonough High School team earned third place in division three.
The La Plata team competed against eight teams in division one of the event to win first place. Team members are students Shane Crockett, Elaina Dixon, Emily Depew, Abbey Magsakay, Jarrett Mulloy and Danielle Murphy. William Boehm, a technology education teacher at La Plata, coaches the team.
A McDonough team earned third place among eight competing teams in division three of the tournament. Team members are students Marlexus Castillo, Naquantay Chappell, Zaire Johnson, Yanelle Montilla, James Otey, Savanah Paton and Morgan Slagle. David Bradshaw, a physical education teacher at McDonough, is the team coach.
The state event was separated into four levels of competition – divisions one through four – and students from La Plata, North Point and McDonough high schools competed. Teams that win first place at the regional level are invited to compete at the state event. Teams are split into divisions of competition according to criteria such as age, gender and physical ability levels to ensure that all participants have equal opportunities to participate and be recognized for being a part of a team.
Unified sports teams are composed of a combination of students with and without abilities who train together and compete against other unified teams. Bocce is a sport played on a bocce court, or an area of play featuring a hard surface. The goal of the sport is to roll a bocce ball closest to a target ball, which is called a pallina. Teams earn points for how close their bocce balls roll or end near the pallina.
A second team from McDonough earned fifth place among eight competing teams in division one. Team members are students Kennedy Bradshaw, Alexis Bourassa, Sierra Campbell, Emily Edwards, Lauren Haley, Jaylene Logan, Carrie Wagner and Zach Wagner. Bradshaw also coaches this team.
The team from North Point earned a sixth place award among eight competing teams in division two of the tournament. Team members include students Christina Alvarez, Carsen Essing, Jalisa Logan, Michael Polka, Hailey Stern and Lelany Wells. Coach of the team is North Point physical education teacher Rebekah Colatruglio.
A total of 32 teams from schools in Allegany, Baltimore, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Washington counties, as well as Baltimore City, participated. CCPS partnered with Special Olympics Maryland in 2008 to offer high school students of all abilities the opportunity to participate in sports programs.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.