OTHELLO, Washington – The Othello High School Unified Soccer Team is headed to the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. The Division 1 State Champions have been selected to represent Washington State in the 2018 Olympics, with ten qualifying students ranging in age from 15-21 years.
Othello High School has been a leader in the Unified Sports Movement in Washington in recent years. Unified Sports is a combination of students with and without disabilities playing on the same team for competition. In 2013, the Special Olympics approached OHS about beginning Unified Sports, and OSD started the unified basketball program. Although it started small, the OHS Unified Sports program has grown to offer three different sports, including bowling, basketball, and soccer, with over 242 students participating to date.
Over the last four years of Othello’s Unified Sports program, the biggest highlight came in winning the 2017 Division 1 Championship Game at the State Unified Soccer Competition. This competition is held in conjunction with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, and was led by Coach Kevin McDonald.
Othello Special Education Director Heidi Wagner, says that the dedication, drive, and passion for sports by these young athletes is what has led to this momentous occasion.
“We are so excited for this opportunity for our athletes and students of Othello High School!” Wagner exclaimed. “A special ‘thank you’ needs to go to Don Bullis, our Athletic Director, for supporting, scheduling, and training coaches. He has even been selected to represent us on a special Unified Sports Advisory Committee for Washington State.”
The qualifying 2017 Othello State Champions are as follows: Josh Lembke, Dusty Carlson, Jennifer Medina, Natasha Montejano, Vincent Montejano, Giselle Monroy, Rilee Heist, Carlos Murillo, Christian Quiroz, and Hunter Sparks. These athletes will compete against teams from across the United States at the Seattle Olympic games in July 2018.