“Miss, can we have practice today? Miss, when is our next game?” These are questions I hear consistently from my players. I have the privilege this year to co-coach the Special Olympics Unified Flag Football team along with some of my fellow City Year corps members serving at North High School.
A couple of weekends ago we went to the State Tournament to compete with other unified teams across Colorado and had the best time. It was one of the most rewarding and adorable experiences that I have had thus far in City Year! I must admit, coaching football is not something that someone like me could normally brag about! I am 4’11”, 100 pounds, and, although I’m southern, my football knowledge is very limited. Two games into the tournament, I realized that it wasn’t about coaching — it was about my presence. My players just needed me to be there, to give them encouragement, to congratulate them when they score or make an awesome pass, and to lift them up when they are down. I stood on the sidelines cheering on my team, and at the end of the tournament, we had won all of our games!
“The state champions are: North High School Vikings!” announced the Special Olympics representative. Each player was awarded a medal while being recognized by family and peers alike. I couldn’t have been more proud of this group of boys and what they had accomplished. I now know that this was only the beginning for these boys, and I know that their success will continue while we cheer them on, providing support in and out of the classroom. Congratulations to my team, and go Vikings!!