Heritage Ledger

The Unified Team Shows What Really Matters In Ripon, CA

Kassidy Lywandowsky, Assistant Editor

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On Sunday, October 8th, 2017, the Ripon Soccer Regional Competition was held as part of the Special Olympics Competitions for teams around the Bay. With excited players on the roster, the Heritage Team put in the competition.

  Special Olympics Northern California organized the soccer tournament, which happened to be,

  “The first ever Special Olympics unified soccer qualifier for the 2018 Special Olympics in Seattle, WA” Mr. Wartinger, the Heritage Coach said.

  On the team were unified athletes Kenny Bough and Andrew Elliott, both playing forward and goalie. The volunteers included Griffin LaFleur and Katherine Cook, playing forward and defense as well as Taylor Bough, right mid, Faith Bough, left mid, and Ashley Morales, left mid.

  The team lost their first game 5-9 against Hoover High, but came back strong in their second game against Acalanes High, winning 9-3. Unfortunately, their last game was a loss, 4-5 against Clavis North, although they put up a tough fight;

  “Our last game went into overtime and lost. If we had won, there would have been a two-way tie for first place” said Mr. Wartinger.

  Despite the two losses and one win, the players had great statistics. Kenneth Bough scored 15 goals, Andrew Elliott scored 1, and Katherine Cook scored 2.

  Ending the day off on good note, Coach Wartinger described the whole experience as,

  “Excellent! The athletes loved competing and having the opportunity to qualify for Special Olympics!”

  Faith Bough, a junior at Heritage, was one of the volunteer’s to play with the Heritage team. She played alongside her older brother Kenneth (12) and little sister Taylor (9), both of which were on the team. Bough describes the tournament as;

  “Pretty good. The first game we were actually beaten rather badly, but the second game we won! The third was really close, but the other team deserved the win. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it.”

  Unfortunately for the team, they were down a player and had to play with 4 people on the field instead of 5. This did not stop the team from putting in hard work. According to Bough, everybody played to the best of their ability and scored a lot of the goals for the team.

  “I do unified sports like bowling and basketball, but don’t partake in soccer. I never really looked to Special Olympics, but this definitely opened me up to it” Bough expresses.

  At the end of the day, the Heritage Team placed third in the tournament and broke with “Good job family!”, going home with smiles on their faces and their hearts full of happiness from a day of fun.

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The Unified Team Shows What Really Matters In Ripon, CA