Unified Bocce creates fun after-school environment

Unified Bocce players are excited to return for a fourth year. They like the family atmosphere.

Through practicing and playing bocce together, teammates get the chance to have a fun after-school activity where they get to bond with a lot of people they do not normally get to see during the school day.
Coach Leticia Clark enjoys spending time with the team and believes the team allows teammates to become lifelong friends.
“Some of these kids would not normally have interactions with each other and this kind of brings them all together and they form these lifelong friendships that normally wouldn’t happen during the normal school day,” Clark said.
“It is kind of great seeing these friendships forming and the bonds they build together.”
Alumni members of the team who have graduated come back to see former teammates at practice.
Juniors Olivia Steidle, Lindsay Coll and Hannah Kratz all love the environment that being on the Unified Bocce team brings.
“I think it is really fun to be able to do something after school because they hang out with their friends in school, but it is like an extension of the school environment but without the learning, and all the fun, and people you might not get to see in classes,” Steidle said. “We just get to have fun, compete, and it is just great there is something to do after school.”
Coll and Kratz both were inspired to join the team their freshman year after a school assembly where Souderton was crowned a Champion School by the Special Olympics.
“I got into it my freshman year, there was an assembly for honoring the program and we were a Champion School, and I thought it was really cool,” Coll said. “So I went to [athletic director Dennis] Stanton’s office and asked how I could get involved, and I have been doing it ever since.”
According to Kratz, she remembers thinking to herself “that looks so cool” after Souderton was named a Champion School.
“What I like about bocce is the feeling of family that I get every day. Unified Bocce is so special because it doesn’t matter what your abilities are, each and every athlete plays an important role on our team,” Kratz said.
Unified Bocce is a growing high school sport in Montgomery County. Souderton gets to play two new schools that did not have a team last year, Pennridge and Upper Perkiomen.
“I get to be with all my friends and I like playing bocce. I like going places with everybody,” junior Brenden Rush said.