Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Unified Sports by Suzanna Paul

   Unified Sports

        There are four different types of Unified Sports that MHS offers. Unified is described as a sport that people with and without intellectual disabilities come together for one purpose, being to compete and all around have a good time together. MHS offers sports year-round. In the Fall, there’s Flag Football. In the Winter there’s Champions Together Basketball games. Lastly in the Spring, there’s Bowing and Track and Field.

One of the coaches of Unified Sports is Tina Taylor. She has been coaching for a total of nine years. She also teaches in the Special Education Department at Mooresville High School.

“My favorite part is friendships made and the joy on everyone's face when people are cheering for them,” Taylor said.

Dylan Chesnut is a newer Unified player, just starting this year. He decided to join Unified Flag Football in the Fall. He said his experience overall was a pretty good one, with a very uplifting and encouraging atmosphere. 

Chesnut had many fond memories to look back on from this year’s football season, but one in particular stuck out to him. During a game there was an athlete on the other team that really wanted to get a touchdown, so when Mooresville was on defense the team collectively let him get that touchdown. Chesnut said that Mooresville still would’ve come out with the victory with or without the touchdown, but it felt important in that moment to give the touchdown to that athlete.

“His reaction was extremely joyful and made me realize that sportsmanship will always be better than glory,” Chesnut said.

Another Unified player is Alexis Weddle, she just started playing this year with Unified Flag Football and the Champions Together Basketball games. She plans on running track in the Spring.

“Getting to play in the Champions Together Basketball game was a great, heartwarming experience,” Weddle said.

Cole Terry is an athlete that competes in every one of the Unified Sports MHS has to offer. Not only does Terry do the sports that are offered at Mooresville, but he’s also involved in Special Olympics Basketball. He’s been doing Unified Sports since his very first year of high school.

Terry said his favorite part of Unified Sports is, “Having fun.”

Photo by Suzanna Paul
Photo by Lainie Woodward