After months of hard work and determination, 9 schools from the Philadelphia area gathered for the 5th annual Unified Soccer Championships. George Washington High School hosted the 2017 Unified Soccer Championship on May 30. Two of George Washington’s very own students, Angel Rosa and Alyssa Henry, kicked things off with a great introduction to their school and emcee, Marc Zumoff, announcer for the Philadelphia 76ers on. Zumoff was beyond excited to be at the Championship and commenced the event with a parade of athletes. The roster included Abraham Lincoln High School, Audenried High School, Frankford High School, Martin Luther King High School, School of the Future, Sayre High School, Thomas Edison High School, and hostGeorge Washington High School. The crowds roared with applause as each team paraded across the field. After the athletes and partners took their seats, it was time for the Frankford High School Color Guard to present the colors. Before the national anthem was played, there was a moment of silence for Brandon Santos, a George Washington soccer and bocce player who passed away prior to the Championship. Britt Kleine, Director of Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia gave remarks to the crowd which included honoring Brandon’s memory by reminding students that playing and living unified isn’t confined to when they participate in Special Olympics activities, but rather a way of life, a life of inclusion. Matthew Aaron, President, and CEO of Special Olympics PA echoed those sentiments with stories he has heard from athletes and partners across the state.

Opening Ceremonies continued with Angel and Alyssa returning to the podium to give their experiences and how the Interscholastic Unified Sports program has made an impact on their lives. Ronald, Faheem, and Brooke, then lead the athletes and partners in the Special Olympics Athlete Oath that emphasizes the importance of sportsmanship over victory. Next, George Washington Coaches Yvonne Schwiker and Lori Solomon lead coaches in the Coaches Oath. With the reciting of the oaths complete, it was time for the highlight of Opening Ceremonies, the lighting of the cauldron! Philadelphia Police Highway patrol officers led the Flame of Hope procession on motorcycles as Deputy Commissioner, Dennis Wilson, marched alongside eager athletes and partners carrying the torch. The ignition of the Special Olympics cauldron sent a surge of energy through the crowds as Ronald, Faheem, and Brooke kept the excitement up by declaring the games OPEN!

The competition was spread across six fields and each field held tremendous competition. Most of the matches were close calls as each athlete and partner had their eye on the trophy and gold medal that could soon be theirs. As each team gave their all, spectators and coaches were there to support their favorite team and witness the true joy of sport. However, the fun was not limited to the competition. Olympic Village featured cornhole, lawn games, soccer in an inflatable field.  Plenty of delicious, and nutritious snacks and souvenirs were also available. Thank you to our great partners, Philadelphia Union, Shop Rite of Morrell Plaza, EAT.RIGHT.NOW, and Dave and Buster’s for providing a festive Olympic Village! Although there was a little shower throughout the day, smiles were abundant at the Unified Soccer Championship!



by Lexy Pierce



Blue Division
Green Division
Red Division
1st Place
Abraham Lincoln 1 Furness 1 Sayre 2
2nd Place
Thomas Edison 1 Audenried 2 Abraham Lincoln 2
3rd Place
Martin Luther King 2 Thomas Edison 2 Furness 2
4th Place
George Washington 1 School of the Future 2 Sayre 1
5th Place
Audenried 1 George Washington 2 Frankford 2
6th Place
School of the Future 1 Martin Luther King 2 Frankford 1


Round Robin/Medal Scores:

Round Robin
Field 1
Field 2
Field 3
Field 4
Field 5
Field 6
Round 1
TE1 (5) vs. GW1 ( 2) SOF1 (1) vs. MLK1 (3) GW2 (0) vs. AUD2 (0) FURN1 (4) vs. TE2 (1) SAY1 (1) vs. AL2 (1) FRANK1 (2) vs. SAY2 (2)
Round 2
GW1 (3) vs. AUD2 (2) MLK1 (2) vs. AL1 (4) AUD2 (1) vs. SOF2 (0) TE2 (6) vs. MLK2 (0) AL2 (3) vs. FRNK2 (0) FRNK1 (0) vs. FURN2 (2)
Round 3
AUD1 (1) vs. TE1 (5) AL1 (5) vs. SOF1 (1) GW2 (0) vs. SOF2 (1) MLK2 (2) vs. FURN1 (4) FRNK2 (0) vs. SAY1 (0) FRANK1 (0) vs. FURN2 (2)
Medal Round
TE1 (1) vs.  AL1 (6) AUD2(0) vs FURN1(2) AL2 (2) vs. SAY2 (4)

GW1(0) vs. MLK1(1)

SOF2(1) vs. TE2(2) SAY1(2) vs. FURN2(6)

It was a hot and sunny day as 9 schools converged at Abraham Lincoln for the 2016 Unified Soccer Championship. Universal Audenried Charter, Frankford, Furness, George Washington, High School of the Future, Martin Luther King, Sayre, and Thomas Edison joined host Abraham Lincoln for the culminating event of the year. Clara Barton Elementary, Universal Daroff Elementary, Solis-Cohen Elementary School, and Tilden Middle School also made the journey to Lincoln to cheer on the high school students.

The Unified Soccer Championship kicked off with Matt Cord, Philadelphia 76ers and 93.3 WMMR, leading Opening Ceremonies. Abraham Lincoln’s Junior ROTC presented the colors as a group from the Lincoln Choir sang the National Anthem. President and CEO of Special Olympics Pennsylvania, Matthew Aaron and Director of Special Olympics Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Britt Kleine, gave brief remarks and wished the athletes luck. Bettyann Creighton, Directorof Health, Safety and Physical Education, gave remarks as well as thanked the teachers turned coaches for their efforts throughout the year and wished their teams the best.

We would like to thank the School District of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools for your amazing partnership and bringing inclusion and opportunity into our Philadelphia schools. We would like to recognize our sponsors who made this event a success: Drexel University’s Eat Right, Philadelphia Union, phl17, Sambulance Safety Squad, and Shop Rite. We also could not do it without our volunteers who took time out of their day to support a growing movement. Thank you to the Finish Line, Knights of Columbus, Sons of Ben for helping us #LiveUnified.

First Rounds:

Field 1
Field 2
field 3
field 4
field 5
field 6
Round 1
AL 1 (2) v SOF 1 (0) SOF 2 (0) v MLK 1 (2) TE 2 (1) v AUD 2 (1) FURN 1 (3) v FRNK 2 (0) SAY 2 (0) v MLK 2 (0) GW 1 (1) v SAY 1 (0)
Round 2
SOF 1 (1) v  AUD 1 (4) MLK 1 (5) v TE 1 (1) AUD 2 (0) v FURN 2 (1) FRNK 2 (1) v GW 2 (3) MLK 2 (1) v FRNK 1 (1) SAY 1 (2) v AL 2 (0)
Round 3
AUD 1 (1) v AL 1 (6) TE 1 (3) v SOF 2 (0) FURN 2 (1) v TE 2 (0) GW 2 (2) v FURN 1 (1) FRNK 1 (1) v SAY 2 (1) AL 2 (0) v    GW 1 (1)


Medal Rounds:

Bronze Medals:

Audenried 2 v Furness 1, Audenreid 1 v Thomas Edison 1, Martin Luther King 2 v Sayer 1

Gold Medal Rounds:

Furness 2 v George Washington 2, Abraham Lincoln 1 v Martin Luther King 1, Frankford 1 v George Washington 1

Final Results:

  1. Abraham Lincoln 1
  2. Martin Luther King 1
  3. Thomas Edison 1
  4. Audenreid 1
  5. School of the Future 1
  6. School of the Future 2
  1. George Washington 2
  2. Furness 2
  3. Furness 1
  4. Audenreid 2
  5. Thomas Edison 2
  6. Frankford 2
  1. George Washington 1
  2. Frankford 1
  3. Sayer 1
  4. Martin Luther King 2
  5. Sayer 2
  6. Abraham Lincoln 2




June 9, 2016:  Kristen Hatfield for PHL17: SOPA Philly celebrates the Fourth Annual Unified Soccer Championship



On Friday, March 18th, two Philadelphia High Schools woke up early to represent their schools in the IUS State Bocce Championship 2016 at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. A team from George Washington High School and High School of the Future boarded a bus around 5:00am at their respective schools to begin their journey to the IUS State Bocce Championships.

Once in Hershey, Pennsylvania, our two Philadelphia teams met up with eight fellow IUS Unified Bocce Teams from four counties: Baldwin High School (Allegheny County), Beaver Falls High School (Beaver County), Carlynton Junior-Senior High School (Allegheny County),  Central Valley High School (Beaver County), Marple Newtown High School (Delaware County), and Upper Darby High School (Delaware County). The IUS Stat Bocce Championship started at 9:00am after Opening Ceremonies.

High School of the Future joined Baldwin High School, Central Valley High School, and Marple Newtown High School to form the Red Division while George Washington High School joined Beaver Falls High School, Carlynton High School, and Upper Darby High School to form the Black Division. High School of the Future’s first game was against Marple Newtown at 9:00am. George Washington High School’s first game was against Upper Darby High School at 9:45am. 

All of the teams gave it their all to get the gold. With family and friends cheering them on from the sidelines and teammates cheering and guiding on the court, every school gave their best effort. Ultimately, George Washington High School came in fourth in the Black Division and High School of the Future came in third in the Red Division. Congratulations to all of the schools! 

CBS21: State Hosts high school Bocce championship at Hershey

George Washington High School

  • Mariana Cardenas (Senior)
  • Deion Santos (Senior)
  • Johnathan Colon (Senior)
  • Lilia Cardenas (Junior)
  • Perla Ayala (Sophomore)
  • Ivri McDaniel (Sophomore)
  • TiJay Harris (Sophomore)
  • Sabrina McLean (Freshman)
  • Kathy Paul (Head Coach)
  • Yvonne Schwiker (Assistant Coach)
  • Lori Solomon (Assistant Coach)
School of the Future

  • Isaiah Morris (Senior)
  • Justin Sherlock (Senior)
  • Aaron Coffee-Greene (Senior)
  • John Ward (Senior)
  • Tymair Boyer (Junior)
  • Julie Louineus (Junior)
  • Jameel Caleb (Sophomore)
  • Savante’ Thomas (Sophomore)
  • Jessica DeLong Tosto (Head Coach)
  • Cheryl Rivers (Assistant Coach)
  • Timothy Burns (Assistant Coach)



Red Division 
Black Division 
Baldwin – Allegheny County Upper Darby – Delaware County
Marple Newtown – Delaware County      Carlynton – Allegheny County
School of the Future – Philadelphia Beaver Falls – Beaver County
Central Valley – Beaver County George Washington – Philadelphia

On Thursday, March 3rd eight Philadelphia high schools met at Thomas Edison High School for the 2016 IUS Bocce Championship – the first in Philadelphia to determine which two bocce teams would advance to the state competition in Hershey, PA. George Washington High School, Abraham Lincoln High School, Thomas Edison High School, School of the Future, CAPA, Parkway West High School, Simon Gratz and South Philadelphia High School came with their school spirit and drive to be one of the top two teams to advance.

Britt Kleine, Director of Special Olympics Pennsylvania – Philadlephia, kicked off the Opening Ceremonies where President and CEO of Special Olympics PennsylvaniaMatthew Aaron, and Director of Health, Safety and Physical Education of the Philadelphia School District, Bettyann Creighton, welcomed students, teachers, coaches, and fans to the event. Thomas Edison High School had a heavy hand in the Opening Cermonies as the Thomas Edison High School ROTC presented the colors, Thomas Edison High School Teacher and IUS coach, Josh Bower, lead coaches in the coaches oath, and Thomas Edison athlete Tyrik Walter declared the 2016 IUS Bocce Championship open! To lead athletes and partners in the athlete oath was Special Olympics State Unified Youth Committee Representatives from High School of the Future, Athlete and Partner, Tymair Boyer and Djibril Diall.

After Tyrik Walter declared the Championship open, athletes who were playing in round 1 rushed to their courts for the first 20 minute game. Following Round 1 were two more rounds of intense competition with teams trying to seal their spot in the semi-finals. After the third round, there was a pause in play while scores were added up to determine which teams would move on to the semi-finals. However, the pause in games did not cause our athletes and partners to sit still. The DJ cranked up the tunes and a dance party took over Thomas Edison’s gymnasium. Although the Special Olympics Pennsylvania – Philadelphia staff was sad to break up the dance party, they had the important task of announcing the 8 teams to move on to the semi-finals (in alphabetical order):  Lincoln 2, School of the Future 1, School of the Future 2, School of the Future 4, Thomas Edison 1, Thomas Edison 2, Washington 1, and Washington 2

While some schools did not advance, they were able to take advantage of some amazing sponsors of the event. On the sidelines were ShopRite giving out healthy snacks and water, Thomas Edison students educating their peers on how much sugar is in various drinks and providing naturally flavored water options available in strawberry, cucumber, lemon and lime, and Eat. Right. Now., a Philadelphia School District initiative providing nutrition education for a healthier future.

After the semi-finals, four teams took to the court to find out which two teams would advance to the state’s 2nd Annual IUS Bocce Tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. After intense competition – including two teams coming within .5 inches apart from the polina for the point  two teams were given gold medals to advance to the IUS Bocce Tournament. Congratulations to George Washington 1 and School of the Future 4 who will advance to Hershey!

At the end of the day, all of our athletes lived true to our oath, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt“. Each athlete and partner put their skills to the test and gave it their all and so we congratulate everyone on games well played. We also want to thank all of the volunteers who contributed their time and for making this a memorable event for all – and the coaches who continuously give our athletes and partners guidance – both on and off the bocce court.

View All 2016 Bocce Photos


School (score)


Washington 1 (6) vs. South Philadelphia 1 (4)

Washington 2 (6) vs. South Philadelphia 2 (4)

Washington 3 (2) vs. Lincoln 2 (9)

Washington 4 (10) vs. Lincoln 3 (2)

Lincoln 1 (1) vs. Parkway West 2 (5)

School of the Future 4 (6) vs. CAPA 2 (3)

School of the Future 2 (3) vs. CAPA 1 (5)

Lincoln 4 (3) vs. Simon Gratz (2)



South Philadelphia 1 (2) vs. Parkway West 1 (8)

South Philadelphia 2 (6) vs. Parkway West 3 (2)

Lincoln 2 (10) vs. School of the Future 3 (2)

Lincoln 3 (7) vs. School of the Future 1 (3)

Edison 2 (6) vs. Lincoln 1 (1)

Parkway West 2 (0) vs. School of the Future 4 (8)

Edison 1 (3) vs. School of the Future 2 (7)

CAPA 1 (3) vs.  Lincoln 4 (6)


Parkway West 1 (2) vs. Washington 1 (7)

Parkway West 3 (0) vs. Washington 2 (10)

School of the Future 3 (3) vs. Washington 3 (12)

School of the Future 1 (14) vs.  Washington 4 (2)

CAPA 2 (3) vs. Edison 2 (5) 

Simon Gratz 1 (3) vs. Edison 1 (6)


Washington 1 (8) vs. Washington 2 (2)

Lincoln 2 (8) vs. School of the Future 1 (7)


School of the Future 4 (6) vs. Edison 2 (5)

School of the Future 2 (3) vs. Edison 1 (11)


3rd/4th Place: George 2 (11) vs. School of the Future 1 (3)

Finals: George 1 (6) vs. Lincoln 2 (4) 


3rd/4th Place: School of the Future 2 (3) vs. Edison 2 (5)

Finals: School of the Future 4 (8) vs. Edison 1 (3) 

Unified ChampsOn Friday, May 31, 2013, Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia program will partner with the School District of Philadelphia for an inaugural Unified Soccer Championship held at Frankford Memorial Stadium, located at the corner of Wakeling and Large Streets in Philadelphia. Opening Ceremonies, hosted by Veteran Philadelphia Sports Broadcaster Don Tollefson, will begin at 9:45am followed by competition until noon and the Championship game at approximately 12:30pm. 

The Championship features teams from 10 Philadelphia high schools from across the city including: Abraham Lincoln, Edward Bok, Frankford, George Washington, High School of the Future, Northeast, Samuel Fels, Thomas Edison, Boy’s Latin and University City High School. Approximately 100 athletes will culminate months of preparation for these Unified Games and display the “best of the best” during this year’s competition. 

The United States Department of Education (DOE) released new guidance to schools and school systems throughout the nation that receive federal aid about the requirements of providing quality sports opportunities for students with disabilities on January 25, 2013. Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive sports program that puts athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. This first ever rostered Unified Soccer elective course, developed in partnership between the School District of Philadelphia and Special Olympics Pennsylvania, includes curriculum with youth leadership components, anti-bullying elements and soccer training and competition. The course provides greater access to sports for all students, with and without disabilities. 

“To see Unified Sports in action is to see inclusion at its finest,” said Barbara Chavous, Director of Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia program. “What better way for our young people to accept their peers than to allow them to be teammates and equals on the playing field? I truly believe this program is breaking down walls and creating tremendous positive change among our youth.” 

The program anticipates guests representing Special Olympics International, Pennsylvania elected and appointed officials, City Council members and a host of dignitaries joining Dr. William R. Hite Jr., Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia, Pedro A. Ramos, Esq., Chairman of the School Reform Commission, and administrators and staff from both the Philadelphia School District and Special Olympics Pennsylvania. 

Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia program is also launching their “Volunteer to Cheer” program to encourage students from participating schools to cheer on their peers. Competition is not as special without the fans, so supporters of any age are invited to come and support their team. For more information visit and click the Volunteer to Cheer tab.