B-A students begin preparation for bocce season


Courtesy photo

Seamus Salmon, Parker Lewis, Cole Poorman, and Atherton Poorman recently attended the Central Youth Summit for Unified Champion Schools.

Maggie Erickson, Staff Writer

Two weeks ago, Mr. Brandon Stewart, Mrs. Molly Seese, and a few bocce team members attended the Central Youth Summit for Unified Champion Schools, an event held to promote inclusive activities like the unified bocce team throughout area schools.

Mr. Stewart, who coaches the bocce team, found the event very useful. 

“It was beneficial to network with other schools and representatives from Special Olympics about promoting inclusion,” said Mr. Stewart. 

B-A launched it unified bocce program last year and was able to compete in the state championship rounds in Hershey by March. Unified bocce allows Special Olympics-eligible athletes to compete alongside regular education athletes.

Senior Seamus Salmon was one of the Bellwood-Antis students who attended, along with Atherton Poorman, Cole Poorman, and Parker Lucas. This is Seamus’s first year participating in bocce. He previously participated in other Special Olympics events and wanted to get back with the organization.

“It’s a great way to spend some time with people you usually wouldn’t spend time with,” said Seamus.

The event taught more than just what was spoken, Seamus said.

“It wasn’t all explicitly said, nor was it necessarily specific to Special Olympics or bocce, but a broader perspective on how to include people of all walks of life,” said Seamus. 

Both Mr. Stewart and Seamus are looking forward to amazing things happening this year.

Team members include Seamus, Atherton, Cole, Evan Frye, Parker, Frankie Pulcinello, and Maesen Eaken.

“I’m looking forward to working together with people who may or may not have some disability. I want to pull this team together and win states,” said Seamus. 

Mr. Stewart said, “I want to continue to encourage other students to support the team and promote inclusive activities by starting a unified club.”