On Sunday, October 14th, our athletes took a drive to DeSales University for the 2018 Eastern Fall Sectional. Athletes from Area P, Berks County, Bethlehem County, Bucks County, Carbon County, Chester County, Columbia/ Montour, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Lebanon County, Luzerne County, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Northumberland – Snyder Counties, Philadelphia County, Schuylkill County and the host county, Lehigh County, filled the football stadium in anticipation of a wonderful day of competition ahead. Every athlete had one thing on their mind, securing a spot at the fall state games – Fall Festival.

Opening Ceremonies kicked off with opening remarks from Dr. Berg and Chloe Phillips. Dr. Berg announced the theme for the day was Board Games in order to encourage everyone to take a chance and climb the ladder.   Next, the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard was welcomed to do the presentation of colors followed by the DeSales University Choir who beautifully sang the National Anthem. Eric Cushing, Vice President of Development for Special Olympics Pennsylvania, was introduced once the National Anthem ended in order to thank and do a Check Presentation with the Billy Frost Concert Committee. After this was completed, Dr. Berg took over again and welcomed Global Messenger, Ashley Bressler from Columbia/ Montour to speak about her experience with Special Olympics PA and how she enjoys competing. The DeSales University Dance Team then took over in a wonderful performance followed by Father Kevin who led everyone in prayer. Chloe and Dr. Berg took over again and led the coaches and athletes in their oaths. Once this was finished, the lighting of the Flame of Hope occurred, and was carried by athletes from Lehigh County, Officer Mettin and officers from the DeSales University Police Department as a symbol for officers around the world being guardians of the flame. The Flame of Hope is a symbol of Special Olympics and represents the determination of all athletes. Finally, Chloe declared the 2018 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Eastern Fall Sectional officially open.

Over 800 athletes were led by 350 coaches and over 400 volunteers in games where they went head to head with one another and showcased their athletic abilities. Athletes competed in Bocce (Doubles and Unified Sports Doubles), Long Distance Running/ Walking, Powerlifting, Soccer (11 v 11, Skills, 7 v 7, 5 v 5 Unified Sports) and Volleyball (Team and Individual Skills). This was the first year we have a Unified Team (Strykers) who made their competition debut at the Area M Fall Sports Classic. Once the games were completed, all of our Soccer teams, Volleyball Skills athletes and Bocce teams had secured a spot in the state event.

Congratulations to all those teams and athletes we can’t wait to see what you do at Fall Festival!

Join the Social Conversation

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In The News:

October 14, 2018: Julia Rose for 69wfmz News: Hundreds of Special Olympics athletes compete in Lehigh County event



Bocce Doubles
Kevin Karcher & Pam Galone 1st Place
Tracey McGarvey & John Kulpa 1st Place
Kirstyn Cantres & Christina DiVergilis 2nd Place

Head Coach Carol Canady and Assistant Coaches Michelle Angerman

Team Name
Philly Stars (5v5)
Allison Davidson, Danny Amrik, Jackie Lutts, Emmett Abdo, Lisa Barbour, Kristie Walls, Michael Weinberg, David Brent Williams Head Coach Charles Abdo, Assistant Coaches Ronald Atkins Sr,  3rd Place
Stykers (Unified 7v7)

Brian Oldakowski, Ryan Milanaik, Joseph Rynkiewicz, Matthew Grabowski, Ryan Bogan, Michael Luciani, Brian Stulz, Hailey Hurst, Angel Rodriguez, Jonathon Boback

Head Coach Gary Bixby, Assistant Coaches Samuel Fioravanti Sr,  1st Place
United (7v7)
Charles Zisette, Mitchel Stahl, Sam Fioravanti Jr, Danny Charlton, Carl Irvis, Jesse Rose, Jason Bixby, Ian Capacio, Michael Castillo, Justin Martinez, Hope Anderson Head Coach Walt Beckman, Assistant Coaches Karen Aviso, Jacqueline Bixby, Michelle Lebron 4th Place


Team Name
Special Stars
Derrick Jackson, Teddy Angerman, Ray Anderson, James Shelton, Stanley Dluzniewski, Kelly Dluzniewski, Allison Ruitzer, Carlyn Robinson, Sharon Quarles, Francis Bradshaw Head Coach Rosemary Duffy, Assistant Coach Andy Delworth, Jon Garvey 3rd Place


Volleyball Skills:
Cyla Bradshaw 1st Place
Marissa Williams 3rd Place

Head Coach Monica Bradshaw


Through the Unified Sports Soccer Exchange Program, Unified soccer teams from MLS cities travel to other MLS markets to compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts. Unified matches are scheduled in conjunction with MLS club matches, providing fans an opportunity to witness first-hand, the talents and abilities of Special Olympics soccer players. This year, Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia represented Philadelphia Union as they took on New England Revolution in Boston. This year, Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia put together an All-Star team consisting of students from all around Philadelphia who became a Unified Philadelphia Union. After signing contracts with Philadelphia Union and practicing as a team, it was time to hit the road and head to Boston for the 2018 MLS Exchange Game.

Our Unified All-Star team left early on Friday, August 10th and arrived at the hotel after a traffic-filled seven-hour bus ride. After barely settling into our rooms, most of the team grabbed their swimsuits and headed to the hotel pool to unwind. After a quick dip, it was time for dinner, courtesy of New England Revolution at Moe’s Southwest Grill. Once everyone was fueled up again, the team headed to 5 Wits which offers exciting escape room-like adventures. Our group split into two and one had to save the world from an evil, underground crime syndicate. The other had to escape the grip of a giant squid. If that wasn’t enough fun for one night, the evening ended with bowling, again courtesy of New England Revolution. After bowling, it was finally time to hit the hay before the big day on Saturday.

Saturday morning, the Philadelphia Union first team were all eating breakfast as our Unified team waited in the lobby to meet with our competition from Massachusetts. As we waited, players from the Philadelphia Union first team generously signed autographs, high fived, and encouraged the whole Unified team. We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon playing laser tag, arcade games, and eating chicken fingers and pizza with the athletes and partners who made up the Unified New England Revolution from Special Olympics Massachusets. After a short, mid-afternoon break, we all met again outside of Gillette Stadium to watch pre-game warmups on the field and be part of the tunnel as both Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution came back onto the field for the game. On top of all that, each fan who entered the stadium was given a team card that listed both Unified teams by name and number right next to the professionals whom they would be playing after (see photo below).

During the first-team game, both unified teams were treated to dinner in a suite. As the MLS first-team game was ending, both teams headed to the locker rooms to get ready. As our team emerged from the locker rooms and took the field, we were greeted by a lot of fans who stayed after for the unified match including a traveling  Sons of Ben, who even had specific cheers for some of our players. Unfortunately, our unified game was met with rain throughout the full 40 minutes. Luckily, Philadelphia Union has amazing fans and stayed with us the entire time.

The unified match saw us fall to Special Olympics Massachusetts 2-0. Despite the loss, our unified team played extremely well and was as close to a truly unified team that we have ever sent to an exchange game. Some of our athletes were on par or better than some of our partners and were sprinting right alongside them. As this was the first time we pulled together a team from various schools, we could only hope that the team would become that – a team. They came together as a team despite that they all check very different demographic boxes well beyond their athlete or partner label. 

Congratulations to all of our wonderful athletes and partners who made up the Unified Philadelphia Union and a huge thank you and congratulations to our three coaches – Coach Bull Coach Tosto, and Coach Paul.

Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia’s 2018 Unified Track & Field Championship was held on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the South Philadelphia Supersite. It was the perfect day to celebrate our athletes, partners and coaches and all the hard work they put on during the 2018 IUS Track & Field season. Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia Director, Chase Trimmer, kicked things off by welcoming everyone to the event and announcing the winning school would get a chance to compete at the PIAA Track and Field Championship in Shippensburg, PA. After some welcoming remarks, the five schools entered through the parade of athletes. Schools participating in the second annual Philadelphia Unified Track & Field Championship included George Washington High School. Hill Freedman, Martin Luther King High School, Northeast High School and host South Philadelphia High School. Special Olympics PA Board Member, Tony Gillespie joined us for the day and offered luck to all athletes and partners competing. Margaret Lasseter and Tra Griffin from South Philadelphia then lead the athletes and partners in the Special Olympics athlete oath of “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. Following the athlete oath, Coach Regina Johnson from Martin Luther King High School lead the coaches in the Coaches Oath of “I promise that we shall, take part in these Special Olympics games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them. In the true spirit of sportsmanship. For the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.” After Margaret and Tra came back up to officially declare the Unified Track and Field Championship open, the crowd erupted in applause and athletes and partners got ready to compete.

The 100-meter dash kicked off the Championship. As athletes raced down the track, South Philadelphia’s cheerleading squad was there to cheer them onto strong finishes. The 100-meter dash was followed by the 400-meter race and the 800-meter race which showcased the long distance runners of each school. After these track events, athletes split up to participate in one of three field events – long jump, mini javelin, or shotput. Each field event saw some great jumps and throws by both athletes and partners alike, with some creating a new personal record for themselves. 


Individual Results

School Key:

GW – George Washington High School, HF – Hill Freedman, MLK – Martin Luther King High School, NE – Northeast High School, SP – South Philadelphia High School

100 Meter Dash
School A/P Name Time Place
SP Partner Tracesaan Griffin 12.06 1
HF Partner Darius Hunter-McLean 14.28 3
NE Partner Fransico Correia 13.41 2
HF Partner Kayla Marshall 14.78 6
HF Athlete Tahlik Moon 12.12 1
HF Partner Justice Saunders 14 5
NE Partner Pedro Alicea 12.2 2
HF   Keith Jones 12.53 3
NE Partner Caio Desouza 12.17 4
SP Partner Vaten Pridgen 13.8 3
GW Athlete Ryan Caldwell 14.91 4
HF Partner Aniya Gentles 13.79 2
SP Athlete Nasir Martin 13.63 1
GW Athlete Joseph McGinley 14.91 4
GW Athlete Johnathan Aguliera 15.46 3
MLK Athlete Semaj Glover 13.69 2
SP Athlete Maragret Lassiter 15.63 4
NE Partner Andra Silva 12.37 1
NE Athlete Samirah Stevens 15.5 1
HF Partner Destiny Goldmas 15.79 2
MLK Athlete Ludiner Chery 17.29 3
GW Athlete Aaron Wilson 16.16 1
MLK Athlete Dandre Young-Conner 19.66 5
NE Athlete Maria Trinidad 16.28 3
GW Athlete Nicholas Delgado 16.2 2
NE Athlete Alysha Hawkins 17.54 4
GW Athlete Kassim Rollerson 19.13 5
GW Athlete Brandon Taylor 17.07 2
GW Athlete Jordan Scott 17.85 4
MLK Athlete Ojay Harris 15.79 1
GW Athlete Dominic Maffei 17.72 3
GW Athlete Anthony Le 21.28 6
GW Athlete Oluwasegen Sodeke 21.28 3
GW Athlete Zachary Zimri 20.16 2
HF Partner Jihara Richardson 16.78 1
NE Athlete Karen Luong 25.9 5
NE Athlete John Zhen 22.34 4
HF Athlete Khyree Scott 29.72 3
NE Athlete Chris Chandler 21.91 1
NE Athlete Savanah Ayala 22.12 2
NE Athlete Adam Loai 30.63 4
NE Athlete Falu Anthony 32.37 5
GW Athlete Mitchell Cafolla 41.43 6


400 Meter Run
School A/P Name Time Place
MLK Athlete Jasir Newsome 1:02 2
SP Partner Ibrahim Cisse-Karamoko 1:00 1
MLK Partner Thomas Bell 1:05.22 1
HF Athlete Russell Shelton 1:08 3
HF Partner Ariel Odom 1:19.00 4
SP Athlete Reggie Blanton 1:06.78 2
GW Athlete Peter Pulukchu 1:17.28 2
GW Athlete Ronald Pierre 1:24.63 3
GW Athlete Faheem Rucker 1:16.15 1
HF Partner Jasmine Addison 1:28.72 4
GW Athlete Kwesi Quainoo 1:08.34 1
MLK Athlete Zhaire Harris White 1:16.00 4
GW Athlete Juan Espinosa 1:08.38 2
MLK Partner Nagid Sawyer 1:13.28 3
MLK Athlete Maurice Griffin 1:18.81 1
HF Partner Christian Moreno 1:22.97 3
HF Athlete Laurance Warner 1:20.34 2
MLK Athlete India Grierson 1:31.50 4
HF Athlete Iyana Sipes 1:31.84 2
GW Athlete Leyla Kamilova 1:43.06 3
MLK Partner Taylor Calloway 1:29.50 1
GW Athlete Elizabeth Vicario 1:43.66 1
SP Athlete Joseph Polizzi 2:28.43 4
NE Athlete Uwase Mutoni 1:45.32 2
GW Athlete Daika Douze 2:00.00 3
MLK Athlete Trevor Thompson 3:10.00 6
NE Athlete Samuel Godoi 3:08.85 5


800 Meter Race
School A/P Name Time Place
SP Partner Arisode Intwali 2:24.86 1
NE Athlete Isais Aponte 3:22.42 1
MLK Athlete Precious Ford 3:40.60 3
SP Athlete Charles Galvani 3:36.76 2


4×100 Relay
Teams Time Place
GW 2 1:06.50 4
GW 1 1:03.97 3
SP 1 :58.34 1
HF 1 1:01.75 2
MLK 1 (Boys) 1:07.91 2
HF 2 1:08.34 3
NE 1 1:07.50 1


4×400 Relay
Team Times Place
GW 1 4:38.41 1
MLK 1 5:26.90 3
SP 1 4:56.41 2
NE 1 5:40.03 4


Long Jump
School A/P Name 1st Attempt 2nd Attempt 3rd Attempt Place
GW Athlete Joseph McGinley 6′ 4.5″ 4′ 8″ F 2
SP Partner Abudullah Ali 7′ 11″ 7′ 7′ 4″ 1
GW Athlete Peter Pulukchu F 10′ 9.5″ 9′ 2″ 2
GW Athlete Faheem Rucker F 10′ 10″ 11′ 1.5″ 1
HF Partner Kayla Marshall 9′ 9.5″ 10′ 2″ 9′ 4″ 3
GW Athlete Juan Espinosa 9′ 9″ 11′ 7″ 12′ 4″ 3
MLK Partner Taylor Calloway 7′ 11″ 8′ F 4
GW Athlete Kwesi Quainoo 13′ 3″ 14′ 14′ 9″ 2
MLK Partner Thomas Bell 14′ 15′ 3″ 14′ 7.5″ 1


Mini Javelin
School A/P Name 1st Attempt 2nd Attempt 3rd Attempt Place
GW Partner Mitchell Cafolla F 4′ 6″ F 5
GW Partner Anthony Le 6′ 6″ F 17′ 3″ 2
HF Athlete Khyree Scott 9′ 8″ 7′ 10″ 5′ 8″ 3
GW Partner Oluwasegen Sodeke F 8′ 11″ 8′ 5″ 4
NE Partner Matisse Barrett 20′ 11″ 24′ 8″ 26′ 5″ 1
MLK Athlete Zhaire Harris White 22′ 4″ 20′ 4″ 15′ 4″ 3
GW Partner Jordan Scott F 32′ 11″ 21′ 4″ 1
MLK Athlete Trevor Thompson F 23′ 5″ 23′ 7″ 2
NE Athlete John Zhen 11′ 8″ 15′ 3″ F 4
MLK Athlete India Grerson 23′ 9″ F 10′ 2″ 2
HF Athlete Laurance Warner 22′ 7″ 22′ 4″ F 3
HF Partner Sammy Donnie 26′ 7″ 28′ 7″ 21′ 2″ 1
HF Athlete Tahlik Moon 54′ 3″ 39′ 8″ 44′ 10″ 1
SP Athlete Alvin 34′ 7″ 23′ 2″ F 2
GW Athlete Ronald Pierre 19′ 8″ F F 4
GW Athlete Kassim Rollerson 22.7″ 23′ 11″ 24′ 11″ 3
MLK Athlete Maurice Griffin F F F P
GW Athlete Aaron Wilson 28′ 7″ 21′ 6″ 23′ 6″ 3
GW Partner Tiffany Sourovelis 19′ 9″ 18′ 5″ 21′ 4″ 4
MLK Athlete Precious Ford 24′ 11″ 34′ 11″ 27′ 4″ 1
GW Athlete Leyla Kamilova 32′ 8″ 29′ 6″ 27′ 4″ 2
SP Athlete Antonio Burnett 22′ 4″ 36′ 10″ 39′ 11″ 4
GW Partner Yesenia Lebron F 44′ 5″ 41′ 10″ 3
MLK Athlete Jasir Newsome 25′ 9″ 24′ 7″ 36′ 9″ 5
HF Partner Christian Moreno 58′ 7″ 60′ 7″ 63′ 5″ 1
HF Partner Justice Saunders F 50′ 3″ 47′ 10″ 2
MLK Athlete Semaj Glover 27′ 11″ F F 4
HF Partner Destiny Goldmas 37′ 7″ 46′ 10″ 32′ 4″ 3
SP Athlete Andre Thach 40′ 7″ 34′ 1″ 56′ 3″ 1
GW Athlete Johnathan Aguliera 38′ 9″ 53′ 11″ 54′ 3″ 2
HF Athlete Mike Ellis 58′ 7″ F 73′ 5″ 1
NE Athlete Jordan Ganges 57′ 9″ 29′ 6″ 41′ 3
MLK Partner Isaiah Collins 69′ 5″ 57′ 5″ 60′ 6″ 2
NE Partner Fransico Correia 70′ 8″ 74′ 9″ 74′ 2″ 2
HF   Keith Jones F 57′ 6″ 51′ 5″ 4
NE Partner Andra Silva 57′  F 70′ 3″ 3
MLK Partner Nagid Sawyer 47′ 1″ 78′ 2″ 66′ 3″ 1


School A/P Name 1st Attempt 2nd Attempt 3rd Attempt Place
HF Athlete Mark Robbins 5′ 11″ 5′ 10″ 5′ 3″ 4
NE Athlete Chris Chandler 7′ 1″ 8′ 1″ 7′  3
GW Athlete Brandon Taylor 7′ 7″ 9′ 11″ 11′ 11″ 2
GW Athlete Elizabeth Vicario 12′ 1″ 14′  15′ 5″ 1
GW Partner Dominic Maffei 13′ 9″ 12′ 9″ 12′ 5″ 5
NE Athlete Adam Loai 14′ 3″ F 15′ 10″ 3
NE Athlete Samirah Stevens 15′ 11″ 15′ 9″ 15′ 8″ 2
MLK Athlete Ludiner Chery 20′  18′ 11″ 19′ 3″ 1
HF Partner Jihara Richardson 14′ 7″ 14′ 6″ 14′ 11 ‘ 4
HF Athlete Sean Washington 17′  17′ 1″ 21′ 1″ 3
MLK Athlete Dandre Young-Conner 16′ 5″ 18′ 11″ 18′ 5″ 5
HF Partner Aniya Gentles 16′  17′ 5″ 21′ 4″ 2
GW Athlete Zachary Zimri 18′ 5″ 19′ 2″ 17′ 6″ 4
GW Athlete Nicholas Delgado 23′ 4″ 22′ 1″ 21′ 3″ 1
HF Partner Eiyreana Alford 19′ 9″ 22′  21′ 4″ 3
NE Athlete Isais Aponte 21′  22′  22′ 1″ 4
SP Athlete Matthew Webb 22′ 2″ 24′  20′ 3″ 2
MLK Athlete OJ Harris 45′ 10″ 43′ 9″ 43′ 5″ 1
HF Athlete Mikhale Chisolm Brown 33′ 1″ 28′ 7″ 33′ 11″ 4
SP Partner Arturo Jimenez 36′ 7″ 37′ 6″ 36′ 8″ 3
NE Partner Caio Desouza 37′ 5″ 34′ 7″ 37′ 9″ 2
HF Partner Darius Hunter-McLean 43′ 4″ 44′ 9″ 45′ 8″ 1


2018 IUS Soccer Season consisted of four league play days at various high schools to prepare students for the championship in late May. Ten high schools participated in this years soccer season. Schools included

AUD- Audenreid (lt blue), FRNK- Frankford (red), GW- George Washington (blue, navy), SAY – Sayre High School (white), TE- Thomas Edison (green)

AL- Abraham Lincoln, FURN- Furness, KHSA- Kensington Health Sciences, MLK- Martin Luther King, SOF- School of the Future

The Philadelphia IUS Soccer Championship is on Wednesday, May 30th at George Washington High School.

League Play Day 1

Abraham Lincoln High School hosted the first league play day after the original date was postponed due to snow. The first League Play Day was held on Wednesday, March 28th, it was a little chilly, but the sky was clear and the ground was free from snow. Lincoln High School welcomed Furness High School, Kensington Health Sciences High School, Martin Luther King High School, and School of the Future. As teams arrived, Lincolns students were ready to welcome them to their school with high-fives and warm greetings. Besides competition, every team got to participate in training – regardless if they played in the player development model or competitive model. 


Field 1

Field 2

Field 3

Round 1

SOF 1 (2) v AL 1 (4)

MLK 2 (2) v AL 2 (2)

FURN 2 (0) v KHSA 1 (5)

Round 2 


FURN 1 (2) v AL 2 (0)

KHSA 2 (4) v SOF 2 (1)

Round 3

MLK 1 (2) v SOF 1 (1)

KHSA 1 (5)  v MLK 2 (0)

SOF 2 (1) v FURN 2 (0)

Round 4

AL 1 (2) v MLK 1 (2)

KHSA 2 (3) v FURN 1 (4)


AL- Abraham Lincoln, FURN- Furness, KHSA- Kensington Health Sciences, MLK- Martin Luther King, SOF- School of the Future

League Play Day 2

After rescheduling due to weather, the second IUS Soccer league play day turned out to be the perfect day for soccer. The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze in the air. Frankford High School hosted Audenreid Charter, Geroge Washington High School, Sayre High School and Thomas Edison High School. Athletes, partners, coaches, and volunteers alike were excited to get the day started as the schools participating in this league play day were anxious to get their season started. To kick things off, Frankford High School Color Guard presented the colors as the national anthem was played over the loudspeaker. After the colors were presented, a few quick announcements were made and Frankford’s mascot even stopped by to say hello to the teams and support the home team. Like the first league play day, players participated in player development or competitive model training. 


Field 1

Field 2

Field 3

Round 1

AUD 1 (1) v GW 1

TE 1 (1) v FRNK 1 (0)

SAY 1 (3) v TE 2 (0)

Round 2


SAY 2 (3)  v GW 2 (1)

AUD 2 (3) v FRNK 2 (0)

Round 3

AUD 1 (2) v FRNK 1 (1)

SAY 1 (2) v GW 2 (1)

TE 2 ( 1) v AUD 2 (2)

Round 4

GW 1 (1) v TE 1 (0)

FRNK 2 (2) v SAY 2 (5)


AUD- Audenreid (lt blue), FRNK- Frankford (red), GW- George Washington (blue, navy), SAY – Sayre High School (white), TE- Thomas Edison (green)


League Play Day 3

Thomas Edison High School hosted Abraham Lincoln, Frankford High School, George Washington High School, and Kensington Health Sciences on Tuesday, April 24th. It was the perfect day to be outside, especially after the first two league play days were postponed due to snow. The sun was shining, and along Edison’s track was a tree in bloom where it snowed petals. Everyone much preferred this “snow” to the earlier snowstorm in the season. After everyone arrived, Thomas Edison’s Junior ROTC, led by Cadet Bullock, presented the colors and Cadet Vega sang the National Anthem. 


Field 1
Field 2
Round 1 

TE 1 (0) v GW 1 (5)

FRNK 2 (1) v GW 2 (4)

Round 2 

KHSA 2 v TE 2


Round 3

GW 1 v FRNK 1

KHSA 2 v GW 2

Round 4

FRNK 1 v TE 1

TE 2 v KHSA 1


League Play Day 4

School of the Future hosted the last League Play Day on April 26th. Although the weather wasn’t as warm as the third league play day, it was just as sunny with a breeze keeping steady throughout the day. Audenried, Furness High School, Martin Luther King High School, and Sayre High School joined School of the Future to round out the last of the league play days. To welcome the other schools, School of the Future had their drum line out and they were ready to pump up the athletes and partners as they prepared for their games.


Field 1


Field 2

Player Dev.

Field 3

Player Dev.

Round 1

AUD 1 v SOF 1

AUD 2 (1) v MLK 2 (1)

FURN 1 v SAY 1

Round 2

SOF 1 v MLK 1

SAY 2 v SOF 2

MLK 2 v FURN 2

Round 3

MLK 1 v AUD 1

SAY 1 v AUD 2

SOF 2 v FURN 1

Round 4


FURN 2 v SAY 2


AUD- Audenried (light blue), FURN- Furness (orange), MLK- Martin Luther King (purple), SAY- Sayre (white), SOF- School of the Future (grey)


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)

On Saturday, April 29th, Special Olympics Philadelphia held our 40th Annual Philadelphia Spring Games at William Penn Charter (3000 West School House Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19144) and it was an absolute success! We had a record-breaking event on numerous levels, including the number of counties hosted (six), the number of athletes competing,  and celebrity and political representatives! It looked like it would be a cloudy day when it started, but as we were about to start the sun came out.Click to View Full-Screen Image

The day started at 8:00 am at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The Flame of Hope was escorted by law enforcement from the Upper Gwynedd Township Police Department, Philadelphia Police Department, lead by Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson. Members carried the Flame of Hope from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to William Penn Charter. At 9:00 am, Opening Ceremonies began enthusiastically as athlete Allie Rutizer, and Sports Anchor for Comcast SportsNet, John Boruk emceed the morning. To lead the parade of athletes, West Powelton Drum Squad lead the way before we introduced athletes from  Bethlehem City, Chester County, Delaware County,  Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and of course, Philadelphia County. Besides athletic teams, basketball teams, and tennis teams, we also welcomed our Young Athletes, Gymnastics Team, and athletes from School of the Future and some of our bocce athletes. Athletes in the parade were escorted by members of the Temple University Football Team. After the athletes took their seats, a remarkable edition of the National Anthem was sung by a parent, Denine Aversa as Frankford High Schools Junior ROTC Color Guard lead by Cadet Kevin Olsen presented the colors. 

Click to View Full-Screen ImageAfterward, Director of Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia, Britt Kleine, spoke and introduced Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, who gave words of his support of Special Olympics, appreciation for everyone involved, and encouragement for the athletes about to compete. After Mayor Kenney spoke, Councilman Derek Green spoke and presented Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia with a Citation from the City of Philadelphia to honor the 40th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Spring Games. Opening Ceremony ended with the Flame of Hope being brought in by the Law Enforcement Torch Run and escorted by, retired professional boxer, Bernard Hopkins. After the excitement of the Flame of Hope arriving at the 40th Annual Philadelphia Spring Games, Allie and John kept the energy high by proclaiming the Games Open!Click to View Full-Screen Image

Athletes parted ways to partake in athletics (track and field), basketball, and tennis competition. As competition started, our VIP guests got to participate in a Unified Bocce Experience with some of our community bocce athletes as well as athletes from our Interscholastic Unified School, School of the Future. Two courts were set up and after a brief training for our VIP guests, the experience was on its way! Everyone who participated had a great time and athletes played alongside our VIP guests. Our Young Athletes who are not old enough to compete as an official Special Olympics athlete, showed off their skills at William Penn Charter’s playground as they completed an obstacle course that was set up especially to show off their skills.

Click to View Full-Screen ImageBesides competition, the Olympic Village offered a place for athletes to relax and do some fun activities while waiting for their turn to compete. In addition, sponsor PriceWaterhouseCoopers was at the grill, firing up some burgers, hot dogs and chicken sandwiches for spectators as well as selling some beverages and souvenirs. The day ended with athletes being awarded medals in order of their finish at their respective competition site. Everyone left happy, and for those athletics and tennis athletes – a little tanner!

Thank you to the coaches, assistant coaches, and families who helped all of our athletes prepare for the 40th Annual Philadelphia Spring Games! A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who made this day possible!



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Team Athletes Place
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Via Kristen Applegate YouTube channel on behalf of Temple University


Photos by Dane


PHOTOS: Special Olympics holds annual Philadelphia Spring Games at Penn Charter in East Falls


Thank you to our sponsors:

for making this event a celebration!

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Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Logo     


Brandywine Realty Trust LogoThe Gish Rockford Family

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, SOPA Philly hosted a Unified Bocce Demonstration at the School District of Philadelphia Head Quarters (440) in the atrium for all to see! The two winning teams from our Philadelphia Unified Bocce Championship championship that did not advance to Hershey – a team from Thomas Edison and another from George Washington, along with a team from Kensington HS joined us at 440 to take part in this fun day.

There was a small program prior to the demonstration where a partner from the George Washington team who played in Hershey addressed the crowd and shared their experience in Hershey, and then two athletes from Edison.

The Edison and George Washington teams played off against one another to demonstrate a skilled game and teammates from Kensington played alongside administrative personnel from within the school building who came down to experience the magic of Unified firsthand. Not only did administrative personnel come down to play, there was a crowd watching the showcase, including from the balconies above. 

Photos from the Showcase

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, thirteen high schools came together for training to be student leaders in their respective schools at Special Olympics Philadelphia’s “I Have a Voice” Unified Youth Summit. The Philadelphia School District hosted the summit at their headquarters with support from HOBY, and The Philadelphia Foundation. Schools in attendance at the Unified Youth Summit were: Abraham Lincoln High School, Frankford High School, Furness High School, George Washington High School, High School of the Future, Hill Freedman High School, Martin Luther King Jr High School, Parkway West High School, Sayre High School, Simon Gratz High School, South Philadelphia High School, Thomas Edison High School, and Universal Audenried Charter High School.

The day started with opening remarks from President and CEO of Special Olympics PA, Matthew Aaron, Director of Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia, Britt Kleine. After opening remarks had been made, Brandon Velez-Roa and Kenny Brough from Abraham Lincoln High School shared how the Interscholastic Unified Sports (IUS) Program has it brought them together and made a huge impact on their lives. Superintendent, Dr. Hite, gave some remarks and inspired the students in attendance to learn as much as the could during the summit to continue making a positive change within their school. 

The main part of the day was a presentation from by Kevin Grace, from Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY). Kevin lead the students in exercises about working together and setting goals. At the end of the presentation, students constructively discussed issues in their schools and how they could implement change in those situations by creating a game plan that the could execute in the academic year.

Youth Leadership is one of the components of the Interscholastic Unified Sports (IUS) Program, a program that brings individuals with and without intellectual disabilities together to train and compete on the same sports team as well as make a change in their school through a Unified School Club. Through these clubs, students act as leaders and promote inclusion through Whole School Engagement Activites. 


ESPN and MLS WORKS hosted the 3rd Annual Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Match on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA at 5:30 PM PT, just two days before the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Justin Sherlock and Tariq Fontroy, two students from School of the Future represented the Philadelphia Union as they participated on the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. 

For the third year in a row, the match featured athletes representing 18 MLS clubs from the U.S. and Canada. The teams will take the pitch in an East vs. West match up immediately following the MLS All-Star open training session at Avaya Stadium. The Unified Sports All-Star soccer teams are comprised of players with and without intellectual disabilities, and will play an 11 v. 11 match consisting of two 35-minute halves. The team uniforms for the game will be provided by adidas.
ESPN soccer analyst and commentator Taylor Twellman will served as the sideline reporter, providing color commentary and interviews with players and coaches throughout the match. MLS All-Stars will be on hand greeting the athletes as they take the field, and San Jose Earthquakes players will serve as celebrity coaches for both teams, as well as presenting the Unified athletes with medals following the game.
The game will showcased the Special Olympics Unified Sports exchange program, the cornerstone of the ongoing partnership between MLS and Special Olympics North America. Through the Unified Sports soccer exchange program, Unified soccer teams from MLS cities travel to other MLS markets to compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts. Unified matches are scheduled in conjunction with MLS club matches, providing MLS fans with an opportunity to witness first-hand the talents and abilities of Special Olympics athletes. Supporting the matches is ESPN, media partner to both MLS and Special Olympics International and the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports.
After the All-Star Game, the Unified Teams participated in an All-Star day of service hosted by MLS WORKS and Wells Fargo. Unified Athletes, Partners and MLS All-Stars got hands on as they painted basketball courts, four square courts and more at a San Jose school. Later taht evening, all players were recognized at the MLS All-Star game during halftime! 
Eastern Conference All-Stars Roster:
Number Player Position Team Representing
1 James Day Keith F New England Revolution
2 Julia Marie Keith M New England Revolution
3 Aaron B Elman F Columbus Crew SC
4 Emily Schultz M Columbus Crew SC
5 Ahmed Wague D NYC FC
6 Andeano Sewell F NYC FC
7 Ethan Harvey F Chicago Fire
8 Mark Jerabek F Chicago Fire
9 Peter H Poole F New York Red Bulls
10 Jason Poole M New York Red Bulls
11 Justin Sherlock D Philadelphia Union
12 Tariq Fontroy F Philadelphia Union
13 Kevin Guzman M DC United
14 Dennis Mendizabal M DC United
15 Brandon Groave D Toronto FC
16 Brianna Cuzzolino D Toronto FC
17 Cesar Barreto   Orlando City SC
18 DAniel Huertas   Orlando City SC


The Eastern Conference All-Stars faced the Western Conference All-Stars whose team included:

Athletes and Partners Team Representing
Matthew Weiser & Hayden Dyson Houston Dynamo
Scott & Jonathan Stephens Colorado Rapids
Laurence Fairchild & Douglas Sullivan FC Dallas
Tyler C Melhorn & Walter Hayes Sporting Kansas City
Malik Amir Franks & Rafael Lopez LA Galaxy
Raymond Morrow & Matthew McMillens Portland Timbers
Boston Iacobazzi & Ivan Yin Real Salt Lake
Cody Peterson & Nikole Cruz Seattle Sounders FC
Eli Thorton & Joel Aguado San Jose Earthquakes







MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS has helped to improve the communities where we live and play our games by executing programs and campaigns that focus on cancer research and treatment, anti-discrimination, community service, health and wellness, environmental sustainability and accessibility to soccer. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram@MLSWORKS.
About ESPN and Special Olympics
ESPN is proud of its relationship with the Special Olympics, which spans more than 30 years. It is the global media partner for the 2017 Special Olympics World Games, the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, and previously provided multi-platform coverage of Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles (LA2015) as well as coverage of the 2011 World Games in Athens on ESPN3. Since 2013, ESPN has been the Global Presenting Sponsor and Official Media Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, which bring athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together as teammates.


On Saturday, April 30th, 70 athletes represented Philadelphia at the 2016 Eastern Spring Sectional held at Kutztown University. Opening Ceremonies was filled with many performances including the KutzTones, Kutztown University’s A cappella group, singing the national anthem, Special Stars cheerleading team performing their routine, and Kutztown University Dance Team performing two numbers. During Opening Ceremonies, Fran Moore, Head Coach of Special Olympics Philadelphia Aquatics lead the coaches in the Coaches’ Oath. After the conclusion of Opening Ceremonies, our Philadelphia athletes joined over 1,000 athletes from the eastern part of Pennsylvania to compete in one of the six sports offered at the Eastern Spring Sectional – Athletics, Aquatics, Basketball, Golf, Softball, and Tennis.

Aquatics Results:

Joseph Barut
25 M Freestyle, :34.72 2nd Place
  50 M Backstroke, 1:39.10 1st Place
  25 M Backstroke, :47.81 1st Place
Ian Capacio
100 M Butterfly, 1:47.91 1st Place
  200 M Individual Medley Participation
  800 M Freestyle, 12:20.22 3rd Place
Meghan Garlick
200 M Individual Medley Participation
  100 M Backstroke, 1:48.37 1st Place
  200 M Breaststroke, 4:42.54 1st Place
Kelsey Greenewald
200 M Freestyle, 4:01.81 1st Place
  25 M Backstroke, :28.39 1st Place
  100 M Freestyle, 1:47.92 2nd Place
Katelyn Joyce
50 M Butterfly, 1:37.42 2nd Place
  100 M Freestyle, 2:38.29 2nd Place
  50 M Backstroke, 1:14.96 3rd Place
Heather Lutts
100 M Freestyle, 2:39.53 3rd Place
  50 M Backstroke, 1:18.87 5th Place
  25 M Butterfly, :41.29 1st Place
Jackie Lutts
100 M Freestyle, 1:54.71 4th Place
  50 M Backstroke, 1:06.78 3rd Place
  50 M Freestyle, :51.38 2nd Place
Matthew Malyj
25 M Breaststroke, :31.16 2nd Place
  50 M Breaststroke Participation
  100M Freestyle, 2:13.53 1st Place
Brian Meehan
100 M Backstroke, 2:08.16 4th Place
  400 M Freestyle, 9:26.72 1st Place
  200 M Freestyle, 4:29.90 3rd Place
Katie Moore
800 M Freestyle, 19:33.35 2nd Place
  100 M Individual Medley, 2:13.82 2nd Place
  100 M Butterfly, 2:30.95 2nd Place
Jesse Rose
100 M Butterfly, 2:34.30 3rd Place
  200 M Backstroke, 4:21.59 1st Place
  800M Freestyle, 18:57.97 1st Place


Basketball Results:

Philly Phlames

Matthew Grabowski, Clifford Johnson, Kwante Crummy, Ryan Bogan, Joe Rynkiewicz, Angel Rodriguez, Charlie Zisette, Mitchell Stahl

Northwest Warriors

Lavar Gladden, Devone Clements, Nicole Stnaley, Demetrius LeFlore, Tyrone Durant, Abdul Muhammad, Frank Olevsky, Benjamin Liken, Michael Henderson, Denzel McFadden

Philly Phorce

Andrew Hooks, Matt Beckman, Sam Fioravanti, Ronald Atkins, William Strauser, Emest Swanson, Danny Amrik, Allison Rutizer

Philly Phlash

Lateef Hiller, James Fulton, Felipe Rivera, Kenny Lamont, James Trotman, Nakisha Johnson, Kyle Sheaff, Christopher Ray, Sharod King, Jonathon Watson, James Daly III, James Thorton

Philly Phever

Vernon Mayfield, Matthew Everett, Derrell Sutton, Luis Cotto, Brian Stulz, Carl Irvis, Derrick Jackson, Josh Harris, Danny Charlton, Corey Sweet

Philly Phusion

Emmett Abdo, Michael Castillo, Stanley Dluzniewski, James Shelton, Kelly Dluziewski, Kristie Walls, David Brent Williams, Bianca Pedulla, Anthony Gross, Aida Ortiz, Carlyn Robinson

All Photos