They’re one of this school’s most dominant teams, yet their triumphs are masked by the successes of other sports. The bocce team has been established as one of the greatest school units in recent memory and their 2016-2017 season shows it.
Decisively becoming state champions, the bocce team has been crowned as only one of two school teams, the other being tennis, to have achieve this feat last year. Their season this year is a different one, however, with new players and matchups, making a competitive series of games a definite.
Gym teacher Steve McMahon has been the coach of the bocce team since its inception and the team’s repertoire is evident of his leadership abilities. His dedication to the team is strong, as he has conducted team practices during lunch periods in recent weeks in order to prepare the team for the season.
The sport itself is a mystery to a large population of students at this school, as the gameplay can be construed as confusing. However, it’s much simpler than people think, being similar to the widely popular sport, soccer. According to playaboule.com, “In bocce, the only object is for one or more of your teams balls to be closer than any of your opponents balls to the pallina (small target ball, often white) at the end of every set.”
The bocce team is unlike any other at the school, not due to the size or coach of the team, but rather the conditions it must follow regarding player selection. Half of the team must be comprised of students in special education or those who have 504 plans. Unlike other public schools, the team has provided students with the opportunity to play a high school sport and allows them to be more active in the community. Other members of the team have been supportive of these students’ inclusion, citing it as a way for themselves to learn about being on a team.
So far this year, the Patriots have been dominant. They have played three games this year, against Churchill, Walter Johnson, and BCC. In all three of those games, they won 2-0.
This year’s team will likely reach success much like their predecessor, as a determined head coach and a cohesive team will light the way for another season for the record books. “I think that we will have a good shot a repeating as state champions,” senior Sara Hodes said.
Thier next game is against Richard Montgomery at home on Jan. 17, too late to be covered in this issue.