Unified Sports Steals the Show at the First Pep Rally of the Year

Walking into the gym during warm-ups expecting to see nervous bodies, I was rather blown away by the intense feeling of excitement and good vibes from Coginchaug Regional’s Unified Sports team. Although these athletes were preparing to take the floor in front of our entire high school population, there was nothing less than laughs, jokes, high fives and constant recognition, along with a few hugs and piggy-back rides. As bodies started pouring into the gym and there were just minutes before the start of our first homecoming pep rally of the year, players suited up and gathered for an encouraging oration from their teacher and coach, Mr. Robb Bajoros.

Gathered on the bleachers, the second event of the rally, “penalty kicks” was announced, and the Unified Sports athletes took the floor, led by Captains Eric Debrum and Brian Sheldon. One by one they lined up, ready to face off the ever-intimidating, Coginchaug Regional boys and girls soccer goalies Kyle Roberts and Aubrey Figoras.

Every player on the Unified team was given the opportunity to kick a penalty shot; however, they could also be taken out of the game if they missed their shot or the goalie had blocked it. Rather than be frightened, they were positive there was no competition. Confident in their soccer skills that they had all been practicing for months, the first shot was taken, and it happened to be a goal.

The number of players in the game slowly diminished as time went by, but competitors like Kenny Douglas and Mia Kurek continued to shine. The athletes that had been taken out of the game were radiating with motivation, sending applause and smiles to the floor. Soon there would only be but a few players left on the court.

Hand-in-hand with Ty Ryer and captain Debrum, Chris Andrews was ready to encounter the goal. Slowly but surely making their way, Chris made the last, not to mention perfect, goal of the game! The crowd roared with ear-splitting praise, backed by a triumphant melody played by the pep band.

If you’d like to catch these athletes in action yourself, make an appearance at their home game on Tuesday, October 17th after school.

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