Rangeview students unify for sports


Feature photo by Jorion Marshall: Students on the Unified basketball team stretch before practice.  The unified team is currently 3-3.

By Jorion Marshall, Reporter

Unified Sports is a growing yet unknown organization that brings students and students with special needs together through athletics. Most people may not know of the program or its involvement in Rangeview High School, but that doesn’t take away from its excellence.

Unified Sports is a program that is organized by the Special Olympics Organization and enables the opportunity for all students to come together as one and participate through sports.

Volunteers all around the nation have become the backbone of this organization and their time given makes an impact in multiple ways; yet Rangeview is the only High School in APS that is apart of this organization.

One of the coaches of the Unified Sports teams at Rangeview, Mrs. Warner stated, “Mr. Strouse wanted to create this team with the Special Ed teachers to start a team, and then the Unified Sports team came to commencement.”

There are two coaches responsible for running the team, Mrs. Warner & Coach Williams. Their efforts combined with seven partners help the team run like any other sports team. Special Olympics Colorado is responsible for the majority of this funding combined with APS and they together provide sports equipment and jerseys.

This is the first year of Unified Sports here at Rangeview,  and they have already acquired 21 people on the roster for now, with the Community of Excellence encouraging new members to join. With the many participants at Rangeview already, the school may need two teams.

Unified Sports volunteer and Rangeview basketball varsity starter, Tyrei Randall, devotes his free time towards Unified Sports. He finds participating enjoyable and valuable.

Senior Tyrei Randall stretches with a member of the Unified team. Randall is a member of the boys varsity Basketball team and volunteers with the Unified team. (Jorion Marshall)

It means a lot.” Randall explained, “I love helping people, especially kids that are on our unified team. I love seeing them laugh, smile and have fun.”

The team has been practicing two times a week for an hour after school since January 5th. Their first game was Friday, February 12th, and they came out on top with a win. The team was also able participate in a tournament this previous Friday and finished 2-3.

In any Unified sports competition, all teams have already won in support of a great cause.

The team hosts Smoky Hill at 6 p.m. tonight.