In just its second season, the Holyoke High School unified track team took home the gold in the Western Mass Division II final, a moment these athletes, will never forget.
For Jose Perez, the unified track team is his second family.
It's a chance to break a sweat, share some laughs with his teammates, and compete.
"I like meeting new people," Perez told Western Mass News. "It's amazing. I also get to work with my team here...make friends from my team"
The Holyoke High School unified track team is in its sophomore season, and so far, so good.
Sixteen student-athletes of all abilities compete against the eight best unified teams western Mass has to offer.
This past Tuesday, the Knights, in their shining armor and all, took home the Western Mass Division II championship.
Team partners, like Serena Dennis, watched Perez rise to the occasion, placing first in the 100 meter, first in the 4x4 relay and second in the javelin throw.
"It's probably the best thing I've done in high school so far," stated Dennis. "It's very interactive, and very unifying, and I love it so much."
As for head coach Mike Gill, he tells Western Mass News he has his staff and the school to thank for all their support.
"The last two years have been really rewarding for me," stated Gill. "The kids work hard. Basically, we say try your best, and have fun. That's our motto, and that's what we do all the time."
The state championship meet is Wednesday, May 30th at Milford High School.
Win or lose, a western Mass banner will serve as a friendly reminder of just how universal sports can be.
"It'll be up there for their life," Gill went on to say. "When they're 50 years old, 70 years old, and they walk into the Holyoke High gym, you can say you were part of that championship team."
The school's superintendent recently approved a unified basketball team as well.
If other schools follow suit, the hope is to have a team competing at the high school this Fall.
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