Three Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) teams placed among competing schools in their divisions at the Special Olympics Maryland 2015 Interscholastic Unified Indoor Bocce State High School Championship event held Feb. 11 at Hagerstown Community College. Teams from Henry E. Lackey, La Plata and Maurice J. McDonough high schools participated in the event, which was separated into four levels of competition – divisions one through four. Schools from Baltimore City, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Washington counties also competed at the event, and students from 32 schools participated.
Bocce is a sport played on a bocce court, or an area of play featuring a hard surface. The principle 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. The La Plata team earned a second-place award among teams competing in division one of the event. Team members are Nick Adriani, Adult Independence Program (AIP) student; Ciara Albrittain, senior; Kaitlin Branham, junior; Mai Dinh, junior; Marykate Dinneen, junior; Brandon Garner, AIP student; Danielle Murphy, senior; and Rebecca Stine, junior. The team coaches are William Boehm, a technology education teacher at La Plata, and Matthew Petricoin, a vision teacher at the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center.
The team from Lackey earned a fourth-place award in division two of the competition. Student members of the team include Shawn Edwards, freshman; Deontez Fleet, senior; Brenden Kelley, senior; Anthony Macri, freshman; Demetrius Richardson, senior; and Kendall Roberts, sophomore. The team coach is Evan Vahratian, a special education teacher at Lackey.
A team from McDonough earned a seventh-place award in division three of the event. Student members of the team are Madalyn Berres, junior; Savana Brindle, senior; Carolyn Burgess, senior; Marlexus Castillo, junior; Cameron Dew, junior; Elizabeth Kennedy, junior; Robert Mullins, AIP student; and Monica Park, senior. Coaches of the team are David Bradshaw and David Rooney, physical education teachers at McDonough.
All three of these teams competed at the state level after earning a first-place award in their division at a regional competition held earlier this month. 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.
CCPS partnered with Special Olympics Maryland in 2008 to offer high school students of all abilities the opportunity to participate in sports programs. Participation in the CCPS Unified sports program has increased over the past several school years. For more information, visit the Special Olympics Maryland website at http://www.somd.org/.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 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 Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, 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.