January 16, 2024

Lake County Unified Special Olympic Basketball Tournament A Success

2.3 min read| Published On: January 16th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Lake County Unified Special Olympic Basketball Tournament A Success

2.3 min read| Published On: January 16th, 2024|

Last week Tavares High School held a Unified Special Olympic Basketball tournament. The event received a ton of positive feedback. Competing Schools included Tavares High, Mount Dora High and Eustis High.

Unified Special Olympics have been a great part of the public school system the past few years. Michelle Metheny has been a big reason for the success of the Unified Special Olympics in Lake County. “Having so much support for inclusive activities such as Unified Special Olympics for students with special needs makes my heart happy!” says Metheny “Last school year when the Tavares High School Unified Flag Football team won the FHSAA Division 2 State Championship, the kids felt like rockstars! The real FHSAA trophy and medals were very cool, but seeing the look of pure excitement and joy on the faces of our team was priceless.” says Metheny.

(Tavares High Unified Special Olympics Coach Jordan Talmage offers words of encouragement to his team.)

The memories made at Tavares High School this past week are indicative of the success the Unified Special Olympic Programs are having at the schools. Tavares athletic director Tracey Hanson gave us a rundown “Tavares beat Eustis and then Mount Dora High was able to beat Eustis followed by Mount Dora beating Tavares.” says Hanson. All the kids from every school had a great time and it is so great to see these students have an opportunity like this.

(All of the Unified Special Olympic athletes had a great time. Win or lose, it is about having fun and these student/athletes certainly enjoyed the games.)

For many of these students they feel that this tournament was rivaled some of the best in the state of Florida. They had an opportunity to play on a level playing field with other athletes who are of the same caliber as they are. It is truly a wonderful thing to be a part of and we love seeing the continued success of these programs.

Seeing all the athletes cheer one another on is such a pure feeling. It’s a joy to see these students get to enjoy sports while also getting the chance of a lifetime to go out and compete on a level playing field. It’s a memory that these student/athletes will take with them for their entire lives.

Photo Credit – Tracey Hanson, Tavares High School

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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