Knights on the ball in bocce home opener

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Knight Crier

TOWAMENCIN-  The Special Olympics Athlete’s Code reads:” Let Me Win, But if I cannot win ,Let me be brave in the attempt.” For North Penn’s Unified Bocce team on Tuesday afternoon, there was no shortage of bravery in front of a large and supportive crowd, and some winning to boot.

On this snowy Tuesday afternoon the Knights defeated the Cheltenham Panthers in their Unified Bocce Ball game 5-2 and 7-2.. With athletes  and many other community members cheering them on in the stands and coming off a tough loss last week against Pennwood, the Knights were able to learn from their mistakes and reverse their fortunes during their first home match of the year.

After 4 frames Noah Zeigler and Melissa Older helped tie up the game at  2-2. Things really turned around for the Knights during frame 5. Balls thrown from Zeigler and John Luego secured the lead with two points by getting two of the balls closer to the Pallino ball then the Panthers. With a lot of good rolls in frame 6 by all the players, North Penn ended game one with a 5-2 win.

Marissa Werner
The NPHS unified bocce team with the Cheltenham bocce team after Tuesday’s match at NPHS

In game two,  Charlie Weist and Brian Duffy used their turns to execute a win for frame one. Erin Chi started the next frame with the pallino, following it with her first bocce ball roll inches away from the pallino. Michael Twiname helped secure the win as the team went up three points and kept the Panthers at bay.

The Panthers kept up a fight through game two, but North Penn’s Jackie Galang walked onto the court and knocked Cheltenham away from the pallino in a key spot. Duffy and Weist kept the Panthers from snatching anymore points while Chi and Twiname scored 2 more points. The end of game 2 resulted in a North Penn victory of 7-2. Combined from both games the Knights went  home with a 12-4 win under their belts.

“Our team did really, really, good today. We tried our best and we achieved our goal. I feel really good about our next games, we’re gonna win and keep the streak going,” explained athlete Noah Zeigler after the match.

With upcoming practices and games the team is excited to continue and improve their game. Surely the cheerleaders and student section will be missed at the next away game but a win in their own gym, is definitely a highlight of the season.

“This is all about Inclusion. Just because these kids have a disability, doesn’t mean people have to see them as that. Working as a team, talking about strategy, you could watch this whole match and not realize if they were one of our athletes or a partner, and that’s the best part. Hopefully as we go through the next couple of weeks, there is going to be a lot of improvement in not only our bocce ball but in team unity as well,” expressed North Penn coach Kristen Panaski.

The Knights next home match was schedule for next Tuesday but has been PPD to a date yet to be determined.

KNIGHTS 2018 BOCCE ROSTER 

Noah Ziegler, Antonio Tucci, Shannon Dwyer, Julie Mumford, Mia Melchior, Melissa Older, Daniel Lugo, Brian Duffy, Charlie Weist, Michael Twiname, Jackie Galang, D’Aneglo Hill, Rob Weiss, Erin Chi