On February 15, five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) high schools participated in the Special Olympics Maryland Unified Indoor Bocce State Championship at Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown. The competition was sectioned into divisions represented by colors, and the CCPS teams achieved impressive results.
In the Green Division, La Plata High School Team 1 came in fifth place, with Maurice J. McDonough High School’s Team 6 coming in seventh. La Plata’s Team 2 came in second place and earned a silver medal in the Blue Division. McDonough’s Team 5 was in the Yellow Division, where it came in second and took home a silver medal. Westlake High School’s Team 2 came in second in the Red Division and was awarded a silver medal.
The coaches of the winning teams include William Boehm, a technology education teacher, and Stephanie Barry, a special education teacher of La Plata; David Bradshaw, a physical education teacher at McDonough; Matthew Petricoin, CCPS vision teacher; and Derwin Webb, a special education SOAR instructional assistant (IA) at Westlake.
Unified sports teams are composed of a combination of students with and without disabilities 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.