December 5, 2023

Tavares Unified Special Olympcis Flag-Football Team Secures Back-to-Back State Championships

2.3 min read| Published On: December 5th, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

Tavares Unified Special Olympcis Flag-Football Team Secures Back-to-Back State Championships

2.3 min read| Published On: December 5th, 2023|

In a display of unparalleled determination and teamwork, the Tavares Unified Special Olympics Flag-Football Team clinched their second consecutive state championship, bringing glory to Lake County. Led by the steadfast coaching of Jordan Talmage, and the leadership of Michelle Metheny, the team showcased their prowess at the Bounce House at UCF during this year’s state championships, marking an exceptional season highlighted by their recent Silver Medals that they won at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex just a few weeks ago.

(The Tavares Unified Special Olympics team got to enjoy a trip to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex and would take home silver medals.)

Regardless of victories or defeats, the Tavares athletes expressed boundless joy simply for the opportunity to participate in Unified Special Olympics. The inclusive and positive atmosphere fostered by this amazing organization is palpable. Each participant, coach, and volunteer played a crucial role in making the event a resounding success. The Special Olympics, renowned for its exceptional inclusivity, has consistently provided a platform where every individual feels valued, creating a heartwarming experience for all involved.

This year, fortune smiled upon Tavares as they dominated the competition. The players, aimed to replicate their championship triumph from the previous year in Tampa. Whether in victory or defeat, the resilient spirit of these young athletes was a testament to the transformative power of Unified Special Olympics.

(The back of the jersey say “Lake County” the team is proud to represent their home county and always put forward their best effort.)

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the championship was witnessing the team’s camaraderie and the radiant smiles on their faces. Every member of the Tavares squad demonstrated not only their athletic prowess but also their unwavering commitment to unity and sportsmanship. In a world where inclusivity is often a challenge, the Special Olympics stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration.

The team’s victory transcended the boundaries of Tavares; it resonated throughout Lake County. Every member, both on and off the field, exemplified pride and respect, becoming ambassadors for the entire community. This was especially evident last year when the school hosted a championship parade through the school with the FHSAA State Championship trophy. We can imagine similar plans will be in play this year. The impact of this achievement will endure for a lifetime, as these young athletes proudly claim their status as FHSAA State Championship winners and some of them as two time state champions!

(No matter what the outcome of the game would have been, these kids just have a good time no matter what. The State Championship victory was the icing on the cake.)

In the words of a proud volunteer who has experienced the Special Olympics firsthand, the event encapsulates the essence of happiness and togetherness that should ideally define every sporting occasion. Tavares, by winning with grace and determination, not only brought home a championship but also imparted a valuable lesson: that with perseverance and a shared spirit, anyone can achieve greatness. The trophy they earned is not just a symbol of victory; it is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit and a beacon of inspiration for future generations of athletes.

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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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