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The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Tyrone Unified Bocce Team Debuts Tonight

Mike+Mingle+is+a+member+of+the+first+season+of+the+Tyrone+unified+bocce+ball+team.
Becca Lewis
Mike Mingle is a member of the first season of the Tyrone unified bocce ball team.

A new varsity sport for the Tyrone Area School District makes its debut on Friday night.

The Tyrone Unified Bocce Team, an inclusive co-ed high school team that brings together students with and without intellectual disabilities, will play its first match at Central Cambria Area High School in Ebensburg.  Their first home match will be next Tuesday, January 16 against Altoona.

The unified bocce league is co-sponsored by Special Olympics PA and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). Teams have been starting all over the state in the past several years, and this year Tyrone is adding it to their winter sports offerings.

“I am excited that the Unified Bocce team will provide opportunities for students with disabilities and without disabilities to participate in a sport meaningfully and by engaging other students in the school community,” Tyrone High School Principal Chad Packer said.

One of our goals at TAHS is to provide as many opportunities as possible to engage students in the school community. Our Interscholastic Unified Bocce team will promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect, and starting this program gives us another avenue to have more students involved in a rewarding way

— Tyrone High School Principal Chad Packer

The new team has a lot of support from teachers and students in the district.

“One of our goals at TAHS is to provide as many opportunities as possible to engage students in the school community. Our Interscholastic Unified Bocce team will promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect, and starting this program gives us another avenue to have more students involved in a rewarding way,” Packer said.

The 2024 Tyrone Unified Bocce Team consists of Collin Lewis, Malakai Wicker, Aliyah Riling, Piper Myers, Caleb Lavanish, and Mike Mingle.

The team will compete in five matches this season: Bellwood, Hollidaysburg, Penn Cambria, Altoona, and Central Cambria.

Head Coach Zach Soellner is looking forward to getting the season started this week.

“The team meets weekly to prepare. It is a learning curve for myself and some of the players as this is the first time of us playing Bocce but we are definitely getting everything together. With bocce being new to Tyrone Area School District, the team had to be patient with getting everything needed and figuring out what we were missing,” said Soellner.

Sophomore Piper Myers said the bocce team is something that she is excited to be involved in because anyone can play and the focus is on fun and inclusion.

Junior Michael Mingle says bocce ball is fun because he gets to practice with his friends. Mingle is looking forward to the first match on January 12.

Senior Caleb Lavanish said he is looking forward to the season because it’s something new to learn and he’s having fun making new friends.

Just like every Tyrone varsity sport, the athletes hope that students and fans will come out and support the team.

Mingle said he would love to have a Dawg Pound for their home matches

“I will be attending the matches. I encourage everyone to come out and support the team,” said Packer.

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About the Contributors
Grace Naylor
Grace Naylor, Staff Writer
Grace is a sophomore at Tyrone Area High School. This is Grace’s first year in Eagle Eye as a staff member. Grace plays softball and basketball. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family. Grace likes writing about school sports and other fun activities within the school. Grace is a member of All Eagles, a club dedicated to student inclusion. She also is in the National Honor Society. Grace is a part of the Eagle Eye Yearbook. Her favorite subject in school is Math. When Grace gets out of high school, she wants to attend a 4-year college to be a teacher for Elementary Special Education students. Grace is excited to write stories!
Becca Lewis
Becca Lewis, Social Media Co-Director
Becca is currently a senior at Tyrone. This is her first year in Eagle Eye.  She serves as the Social Media Director of YAN and is also involved in the National Honor Society, Student Council, Prom Committee, Ski Club, Tyrone's Track and Field team, and captains Tyrone's Varsity Soccer team. Becca loves listening to music and being outside. You can usually find her thrifting, working, playing sports, or having fun with friends. She is interested in fashion and hopes to write about that and other things she's passionate about. Her favorite genre of music is oldies and her favorite movie is The Notebook. She's excited for her senior year but wishes time would slow down. She wants to have a business career and plans to attend Penn State Smeal for marketing.

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