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Four CCPS Unified bocce teams to compete in state tournament  

Unified bocce teams from La Plata, Maurice J. McDonough, St. Charles and Westlake high schools — the latter two combining to form a blended team — advance to the state tournament later this month after placing in the recent districtwide competition.

The teams are the four highest scoring out of the 16 that competed this season. The state tournament is set for Feb. 13 at Hagertown Community College. Unified sports teams are composed of a combination of students of various abilities who train together and compete against other unified teams. The program promotes social inclusion through shared training and competition for people with and without intellectual disabilities.

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.

A CCPS team will represent one of four divisions — each named for a different color — at this year’s state competition.

La Plata’s Team 1 was named the winner in the Red Division. The team is made up of Aiden Drumm, Morgan Grove, Phillip Hawkins, Lily Hoffman, Taylor Houghton, Sophie Huntt, Chase Nelson and Katelyn Willett. The team is coached by William Boehm, a technology education teacher, and Stephanie Barry, a special education teacher.

The Orange Division was won by McDonough’s Team 5. Students on the team are Michael Brill, Malachi Faxon, Logan Gray, Daniel Howard, Nick Mudd, Sebastian Romero, Ethan Shettle and Aden Sweeney. Dave Bradshaw, a physical education teacher, and Matt Petricoin, a vision teacher, coach the team.

The joint team of Westlake and St. Charles Team 2 represent the Yellow Division. The team members are Xander Dickerson, Ishmael Gray, Myleine Kpoukap Nguikam, Amare Randolph, Peyton Vincent, Victoria White and Christian Young. The team is coached by Derwin Webb, a special education instructional assistant at Westlake, and Jennifer Heisey and Caroline Foster, both special education teachers at St. Charles.

McDonough’s Team 3 is the Green Division winner. Students on the team include Talyn Catena, Katie Good, Claire Good, Allyn Harris, Victoria Johnson, Zach McChesney, Landon Newsome and Dalilah Turnbull. Ryann Harris and Cynclair Wilson are alternates. Bradshaw and Petricoin coach McDonough’s Team 3.

About 300 student-athletes are expected to compete in the state tournament with teams attending from Allegany, Baltimore, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s and Washington counties, and Baltimore City.

Other unified sports offered by CCPS are tennis in the fall and track and field in the spring. The Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Maryland, is also supported by students involved in the unified sports program.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 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 Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, 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.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).