A Middletown High School Special Olympics team and their Unified Partners will participate in the USA Special Olympics Games in New Jersey later this month.
Team Delaware, comprised of 68 Special Olympics Delaware athletes and Unified Partners and 22 coaches, is set to compete at the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games in the Princeton/Mercer County area in New Jersey on June 14-21.
For the first time ever, Special Olympics Delaware will be represented by a school-based team at a national/world games when the Middletown High School takes the pitch in the 5 vs. 5 Unified soccer tournament. Middletown’s Unified soccer team is made up of Special Olympic athletes and Unified Partners (peers without disabilities) from the high school’s Project UNIFY club. Project Unify is an inclusive program that promotes youth leadership, Unified Sports and the whole-school engagement. More than 40 schools statewide are involved with Project UNIFY through Unified Sports, as well as activities such as the annual R-word campaign.
Team Delaware is competing in 12 of the 16 sports offered, including aquatics, baseball, basketball, bocce, bowling, flag football, golf, powerlifting, soccer, sprint triathlon, tennis and track and field.
A special sendoff is being held at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newak on Saturday,June 14 at 12 noon. The public is encouraged to attend this event.
The Special Olympics USA Games are held every four years. This year, nearly 3,500 athletes and 1,00 coaches from around the country are expected to attend the Games.
Meet the team:
Head Coach: Matt Engelman, from Middletown, is an adaptive PE teacher at the Appoquinimink School District. He is a long-time coach for Special Olympics Delaware in soccer, basketball and bowling.
Assistant Coach: Erin Trzcinski is from Middletown and is a Special Education teacher at Middletown High School. She helps coach bowling, basketball and soccer at Middletown HS and also oversees the Project UNIFY club.
Assistant Coach: Sage O’Neill is a graduate of Middletown High School and is currently a student at the University of Delaware.
Maria Bulger is from Bear and has been involved with Special Olympics Delaware since 2008. She has participated in bowling, basketball and track & field. She is excited to be a part of the Unified Soccer team and looks forward to competing in the USA Games.
Nadya Moore is from Middletown and in addition to soccer she enjoys participating in aquatics, basketball, bowling and tennis. In her free time, Nadya also enjoys art.
Sarah Kenney has participated in Special Olympics since elementary school. She’s excited to compete and says that these National Games are a time to encourage new friendships. The Bear resident also competes in basketball and bowling and in her free time she enjoys the movies and roller skating.
Kyle Morris, from Middletown, feels very privileged and happy to participate in Special Olympics and is especially excited to compete in the Games.
Mikayla Buterbaugh, also a resident of Middletown, loves to play soccer. She also enjoys participating in aquatics, basketball and bowling. Mikayla is very proud to be attending the USA Games. When she’s not competing for Team Delaware, Mikayla enjoys dancing and hanging out with Best Buddies.
Kylee Derrickson (Unified Partner) – 10th grade, Middletown High School, State Youth Activation Committee (YAC) member
Josh Derrickson (Unified Partner) – 12th grade, Middletown High School
Vince DelPercio (Unified Partner) – 10th grade, Middletown High School
Michael Flanagan (Unified Partner) - 9th grade, Middletown High School
Mackenzie Frail (Unified Partner) – 12th grade, Middletown High School