Rogers Unified Soccer team takes 3rd place in state tournament
PUYALLUP, Wash. — On Saturday, the Rogers Unified Soccer team took third place in the Unified Soccer state tournament.
“Unified Soccer is a Special Olympics sponsored sport that includes typical partners playing with special needs athletes,” said Heather Davis, one of the coaches of the Rogers team.
This a roster of only ten students, the team traveled to Pullayup, WA for the double elimination tournament for the first time in Rogers Unified Soccer history.
Davis told KXLY that during the pregame pep talk before the team’s final game, Alex Scuthfield made a reference to one of his teammate’s cleats that had busted at the toe in the first game. Patrick’s shoe had been taped multiple times with a mixture of athletic tape and electrical tape.
Alex said, “Guys look at Patrick’s shoe. It represents us at Rogers. Even when things fall apart, we find whatever it takes to put it back together and play on.”
According to Davis, at the end of that game, even though they had lost, both teams came together for a group hug. Everyone left with smiles on their faces.
The Unified Soccer model celebrates sportsmanship and embraces differences. Competition is so competitive that most spectators are left wondering who is considered an athlete and who is considered a partner.
“And that’s the beauty of the Unified model,” Davis says. “It doesn’t matter who is who. The kids have bonded so seamlessly that there is no difference in academic or cognitive ability. They join together and play a sport they all love.”
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