Dallastown Bocce Rolls to Fifth in State

Dallastown Unified Bocce was back to action this winter and, much like the other Dallastown winter sports, was very successful!

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Photo Submitted

The Dallastown Unified Bocce team poses for a picture at the State Regional Meet. The meet took place on March 23 at State College, PA.

After a year-long absence due to Covid, Dallastown Unified Bocce returned to competition this year.

During the last year’s season, there was still a team gathered but rather than playing bocce, they competed in the fitness heptathlon.

That was last year, however. This season, the unified bocce team was back and extremely successful!

In fact, the interest in unified bocce flourished tremendously this season, so much so, that Dallastown had two teams and three individuals that were part of the JV team but did not compete in the meets.

The goal of bocce is to roll your team’s balls closest to the small ball, often white or yellow, called the pallina.

Each team has up to eight people on it, with four on one side of the court, and the other four on the opposite side. In the case of Dallastown, this process was duplicated for each of the two teams.

In order to have a successful season, it was important to have a close-knit team and team members willing to do what it took to succeed and that they did.

One team member even went as far as to describe the team as a family. Head coach Kevin Myers agreed with that.

“[The most memorable moment of the season] was how the team became,” Myers stated.

With a solid rock under the team, the team was ready to start the season.

The 2021-2022 season consisted of three regular-season meets for the team. After both teams had significant success in those meets, the team advanced to the league playoffs.

In the league playoffs, hosted here at Dallastown, both Dallastown teams, two teams from Central York, one team from Dover, and one team from York Tech all came to compete.

Players from both ‘Team One’ and ‘Team Two’ took a group picture prior to the meet at the State Regional meet. (Photo Submitted)

As if it were a continuation of the regular season, the Wildcats were extremely successful. So much so that the two Dallastown teams faced off against one another in the League championship.

Dallastown ‘Team 1’ came out as the champion, sealing their road to the State Regional Meet, which was held in State College, PA on March 23.

‘Team One’ consisted of the seven Dallastown seniors,  Olivia Martin, Damian Vaughn, Johnathon Melby, Kyiana Baker, Natalie Nardontonia, Mackenzie Jackson, and Xavier Ruby, as well as one junior, Taylor Gray.

‘Team Two’ consisted of Bobby Nicholson, Josh Coleman, Cristian Munoz, Daniel Scott, Joelene Braun, Maddie Beecy, Sophia Zart, and Brianna Sanchez. The three individuals who practiced with the team but didn’t participate were Sofia Villani, Katie Chronister, and Andrew Breault.

‘Team One’ traveled to the State Regional Meet and, yet again, was extremely successful. After winning their first match, the team advanced to the semifinals.

After a season in which the team thrived, it was only fitting that the team finished among the top in-state. Dallastown finished fifth in the State Regional Meet.

When asked one word to describe the season, Myers replied “incredible.”

I truly cannot put into words how [unified] has impacted my life… There really isn’t a statement that could describe what the last few years have meant to me. It is an experience that can only be understood by those who have also had it… It has helped form and mold me into the person that I am and the person I hope to be.”

— Olivia Martin

Olivia Martin, a senior and one of the bocce team captains would agree with that description. The word she used to describe the season was “unforgettable.”

Martin also enjoyed how close the team became.

“Every moment is so memorable, but the best moment is the random dance parties and the fact that every single person cheers on every single person,” Martin said.

The bocce season was memorable for all involved and it’s something most returning team members are looking forward to for next year.

“I would encourage everyone to get involved in our unified movement. Living unified is a choice I make along with others… we make this choice every day, and will continue to make this choice every day of our lives,” Martin stated.