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Unifying Students Through Sport

Erie High’s Unified Basketball team exhibits teamwork in a new light while bringing all types of students together.

Hands up! Erie vs. Mead on 1/18/18

Hands up! Erie vs. Mead on 1/18/18

Hands up! Erie vs. Mead on 1/18/18

Ashley Bedore, Editor-in-Chief

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Under the coaching of Mr. Cooper, the special education program at Erie gets their shot at being basketball stars through the Special Olympics program Unified Basketball.

There’s something to be said for the excitement of a basketball game. There’s a sense of urgency as team members run up and down the court, perfect baskets are made, and the crowd cheers. Here at Erie, the Unified Basketball team ensures that everyone gets to be apart of the action.

Unified Sports are all about inclusiveness. Students in special ed programs work side-by-side students in peer mentor programs to create a powerful team. Athletic Director, Mr. Carpenter, first brought the idea to Erie’s special ed department. This is Erie’s second year of having an inclusive sports program coached by Mr. Cooper.

Coach Cooper started coaching Unified Basketball because he wanted to do “something different to interact with a different group of kids.” He adds that the students on the Unified team “work just as hard” as his varsity football players.

Kindness is the key to the Unified Basketball team. Mrs. Goodrich, who is a special education teacher at Erie, shares that the teams encourage and help each other in ways that most sport teams don’t do, mentioning that last year when a student accidentally knocked another student to the ground, “they stopped, they reached down, they helped the person up, and then they went on their way.”

Charity Sansgard, one of the stars of the Unified Basketball team, loves the energy and exercise she gets from being on the team. She explains that Unified Sports “show a competition, but everyone is helping each other with kindness.”

The Unified Basketball games are full of high energy and excitement. If you want to come cheer on the team at the next game, you can check out the Unified Basketball game schedule below!


Teams: Date/Time: Event/Location:
Silver Creek @ Erie Thursday 2/1/18 – 4:00pm Erie HS before Wrestling Dual
Erie @ Frederick Tues 2/6/18 3:00pm Frederick High School, Bus – 2:15
Erie @ Longmont Thursday 2/8/18 4:00pm Longmont High School
Skyline @ Erie Wednesday  2/14/18  3:30pm Erie HS
End of the Year Celebration Tournament- @ Silver Creek HS (All Teams Included) March 3rd, 2018 Silver Creek HS


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