May 3, 2024

Mount Dora High Students Win Unified State Tennis Championship

1.4 min read| Published On: May 3rd, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Mount Dora High Students Win Unified State Tennis Championship

1.4 min read| Published On: May 3rd, 2024|

Check for spelling only: Mount Dora High School’s Unified Special Olympics Tennis team has had quite an amazing year. They sent a few athletes to the FHSAA State Championships and one walked away as a state champion.

Dru Lee who goes by DJ was the Unified Special Olympian and partnered with Walker Bland who was his partner. They were involved in a competitive match and would ultimately win the FHSAA Unified State Tennis Championship.

We also have to give a shoutout to the other Mount Dora athletes who made it to the state championships including Reagan Fickett and Thomas Wilcox who both qualified for States.

“It was a great year for all of our Special Olympics teams in Lake County. It has been a pleasure being a coach and seeing these kids improve every time they would go out and compete. It has been so rewarding. I am blessed to be a part of something like it.” says Randy Craft.

“That was among the most amount of sportsmanship I have ever witnessed in my life. That kind of sportsmanship is unprecedented. Walker Bland could have ended things easily but decided to let Dru make the moves. Walker kept the ball going but allowed Dru to make the moves needed to win. I wish everyone could have seen it. It showed what sports can truly be about.” says Craft.

Unified Special Olympics has been such a blessing in our area. It gives student-athletes the chance to compete on a balanced playing field and the kids who take part in these sports are truly happy. Seeing the smiles on the faces of both the Unified Special Olympic athletes, their partners and coaches make it all worthwhile.

If you have not attended a Unified Special Olympics Event it’s one of the most humbling experiences you will ever have. There is nothing quite like it and to see its growth in our community has been a joy to watch over the past few years.

Congratulations to Dru Lee and Walker Bland and a big shoutout to the other members of Mount Dora High who made it to the state championships!

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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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