By Joe Veyera
Members of the Ballard High School Red Unified Soccer Team have been feeling golden this past week, after the team took home first place at the Division 2 unified soccer state tournament at Joint Base Lewis McChord and Sumner Stadium on May 31.
After defeating Lakes High School to reach the semifinals, and Mead High School to reach the finals, the Red Unified team pulled out one more victory against Wilson High School to claim the Division 2 state title. That game can be viewed anytime here, courtesy of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).
While Unified Soccer has been in Seattle for four years (with the BHS team winning second place at last year’s Special Olympics State Summer Games), a new partnership this year between Special Olympics WA (SOWA) and the WIAA was forged to create a state championship for the sport — which combines an approximately equal number of athletes with or without intellectual disabilities
The team was comprised of Sean O’Neill, Jack Johnson, Liam Moser, Trenton Scott, Grant Moffett, Heyiwot Amare, Annie Gentino, Austin Daffron, Griffin Denke, and Aaron Giron. The team’s coaches are Trisha Wyman, Susan Dutro, and Ron Wang, with assistant coaches Rebecca Hultman and Henrik Mansfield, and advisor Ed Herbert.
O’Neill was nominated by the Wilson Rams at the final game for the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, while Amare completed her fourth sports program at Ballard (Cross-country, basketball, track and soccer).
Congratulations to the Beavers on their state title!