Sports Insight Episode 14 Corollary Sports

(MUSIC) Hi everyone, I’m Cliff Elgin, and welcome to Sports Insight. We’re here at Clarksburg High School where each year, students have a choice of 43 Coyote athletic teams to choose from, in the fall, winter, and spring seasons. From golf and football in the fall, to softball and lacrosse in the spring, MCPS offers students a wide range of athletic opportunities. I coach the Bocce team here at Clarksburg, and Bocce, along with Team Handball and Allied Softball are the MCPS Corollary Sports. These are varsity sports, played indoors, with coaches, referees and CoEd rosters. Like all other varsity sports, the teams play a competitive schedule that includes playoffs and a championship game. Through participation, student-athletes are able to learn a new sport, build friendships and have fun! (MUSIC and cheering) Corollary sports provide student
athletes with disabilities, or those who don’t play any other Interscholastic
varsity sport, the opportunity to feel the excitement of athletic competition, and
the pride representing their school around the county. Corollary sports is an
amazing program. You can have every student come together
and actually play a sport together. You don’t have that in any other sport so I
love the fact that it is very diverse, the students come out here they have a great
time the coaches have a great time. It’s helped my high school experience because back in middle school I didn’t have most of these sports to play. I didn’t really
have like a lot of competitiveness. I wasn’t really a fast runner, you know, I wasn’t exercising enough either so with sports like this, I actually can show my competitive fire, I
can be a leader. (High Five) There’s 2 or 3 elite athletes in each class
and then there’s like you know ten or twelve kids that love sports and want to play them
and there’s not really a spot for them so this has covered those athletes along
with a special ed athletes and it’s just very rewarding and I mean it’s just so
good for the kids. The benefit of interscholastic sports is that it adds more
movement and exercise to a students day. And the practices and games enable
students to develop social, physical, and mental skills that they can use in their
lives outside of high school. One Two Three – Churchill! In the fall season team handball is the
corollary sport. I think we’re the only school district in the nation that has team
handball as a varsity sport combining kind of basketball skills, dribbling,
passing, along with shooting the way you throw the ball into a goal that is about the
size of a soccer goal. You have a two nets and you just try to score on the
other goalie. And it’s actually really high scoring I mean you get 30 goals a
game. This past November the Blazers of Montgomery Blair high school won the team handball championship. (Cheering) In the winter sports season bocce takes
center stage. I first started coaching bocce five years ago there was maybe 15
16 of the county high schools that had a bocce team, now I believe up to 23 this
year. So it’s definitely growing and I think the interest in bocce among
spectators is growing as parents become more familiar with bocce the rules
and even the strategy because there is a tremendous amount of strategy that goes
into this. Bocce, doesn’t require physical strength it
requires precision and a lot of strategy. It’s very intense. Usually it’s quiet when
a person is throwing and then theres cheering. We try to get closest to the polina. Sometimes if the gym floor it like has a hill underneath it, it can curve the ball and
really position it to where maybe you get closer to the polina, which is where
we’re trying to aim for every game. (Cheers) In February the bocce ball championship match featured Northwood against Wootton, and the winner? Your Wootton Patriots! (Cheering) (Cheering) In the spring season the corollary sport is Allied Softball. I think a Allied Softball is a great
program especially because it works hand in hand with disabled students and
students who just want to learn the game and love the sport. Everybody gets a
chance no matter what and whether you can hit a a pitch or not they have an
opportunity to put it on the tee, and get an opportunity to hit it. So they
love that aspect of it. The MCPS corollary sports create learning
experiences for students with and without disabilities. The practices and games enrich the lives of high-school students. (CHEERS) You can see it in the reactions of the 2017 Allied Softball champions the Sherwood High School Warriors. This is a true varsity sport, it’s not a club
sport, it’s not a JV sport, It’s a true varsity co-ed sport, and I think that really helps you know,
it helps everyone take it seriously. We have referees, we have scoreboards, you know some of the games were announced and it just it makes it great for the kids, it is really valued as a varsity sport. (Music and Cheering) And our guests today are Rori Silver who is the corollary sports facilitator for the MCPS athletics welcome Rori. Thank you for having me. And also with us is our student Diondre Rhone from Montgomery Blair high school who just graduated so congratulations Diondre. Thank you very much. So Rori I want to start with you because you’ve been with this whole corollary sports program from the beginning, I think we were saying before the show about 2010 so why don’t you kind of give a little history background to everybody with how it started how it was piloted and where we kind of come in seven or eight years. Sure. I started in 2010 we had a pilot year with about seven or eight high schools. We started with the softball in the spring and by the following year we added on track and field and we also added bocce. We ended up growing to all 25 High School’s being included by the second year and we went with track and field for about two years and then decided we wanted a more unique opportunity for the students since we already had track and field as a varsity sport, so then we brought on team handball. And we now have all three sports and all high schools are included if they choose to participate. Good. Now Diondre I want you to go back and, travel back at the time okay I know you’re a wise graduate of Blair now but I want to go back to your freshman year okay when you walked in the hallways of the school did you know anything about the corollary sports program already or how did you sort of find out about it as a 9th grader? Well when I first got to Blair I didn’t know anything about it until about five days into gym class where the teacher had asked me if I had ever heard a hand ball. I told him kind of but we only really learned like the umm, I guess you could say the childish version where we have to stop and everything. So he told me to come to one of the meetings and that’s basically how I found out about it. And so now four years later you’ve played all four years all three sports correct? Correct. And I want you to make a choice now which one’s your favorite? Out of all of them I have to say handball. Now why the handball? I guess it was like umm, the camaraderie of the team like the chemistry we had was always great the energy we have on the court always felt good and just making it that far always felt great even when we lost it didn’t feel like a complete loss. Great now Rori you get to travel around and sort of see all the sports. Get to most high schools to see all the teams, if you have to pick sort of one thing that you love watching about these corollary sports what is it? Most of the teams are compromised of 50% general ed and 50% special education students and when you watch the games you really can’t distinguish who has the disabilities and who doesn’t. It’s just wonderful to see the students really build off of the strengths of one another and just form such bonds and friendships that often it’s hard to tell who has a disability and who doesn’t it’s wonderful to watch. Now Diondre over your four years did you sort of, obviously you knew all your own teammates but did you get to know people from other schools that you saw year after year and was it kind of neat to sort of build relationships not only with your own teammates but with other people from other schools? Well I didn’t really get to know any other kids from other schools because as Blair we were kind of hated amongst almost all the teams. Why? Why? Did you win too much? What’s the problem? With handball like, at B-CC there was this one kid who just hated our guts like every time we walked in he would just give us this dirty look, so you know like being a part of that team it was always hard to make friends from other teams. So let’s talk about your own team what about the relationships and friendships you’ve built with was maybe some of the Blair students you wouldn’t have known had it not been for the team. I have one friend and his name is James. I met him through the team and from that moment on we are actually pretty close friends. Great, so, relationships have grown out of this and thats great. Now how many different coaches did you have, did you have the same coach coach every sport or did you have different coaches for different sports at Blair? For handball we have the same coach Louis Holman for all four years. This is last year so we are all pretty sad for him. As for bocce we had Mr. Terry and Miss Mcgherkin for most of time but then just became Mr. Terry for about two more years. And as for softball we actually had a big mix-up of coaches. We had Coach Kraft for two years, then he went to another school. Okay. And we had another coach Miss Rich who was umm, kind of stolen from us for the other softball team at Blair. And now we currently have Miss Moran who’s a really good coach. Good. Now Rori l also want to let people know, this is competitive, and people want to win so talk a little about sort of the end of the season tournaments that we do. You know I know from the bocce aspect because that’s what I’ve coached. Right. But sort of explain how it goes on with all three of the sports. Sure. We do have three sports that are very different they’re all each at a different competitive level so team handball being our most competitive so some of our students really love that and we do have playoffs that the teams do have. They have divisions they have playoffs and then they have a championship game at the end. Then we have bocce ball which we do have a state tournament for through the Special Olympics and that is probably my favorite sport because every student at every level can participate fully. And then we have softball which also has divisions playoffs and a championship game and that is probably our middle level sport where most students can still participate and we’re able to adapt it so students can use the tee if they need to. And we have called it’s called X runners where if they cannot run the full way to the base they could run halfway to the X so it’s nice that all of our sports can be adapted but the teams all do make it if they are able to… playoffs and there is a championship game at the end. And if people haven’t seen the bocce its competitive and it’s intense and it gets really quiet.. if you haven’t seen it go to a bocce match. All right Diondre so I just found out you won the Trident Award. Yes. You should be pretty proud of yourself. I am. Explain what that is. The Trident award is an award given to students who keep up a 3.0 GPA for all semesters of that year. Nice and so you won that this year? Yes. Did you win it any other years? No. That’s good though you finished on a strong note should be very proud if that. I am. And the other thing we should really talk about is we treat these they are varsity sports. They are. Okay. So you get a varsity letter you get the pin every year. And so you know that’s a pretty special thing I think you should be very proud of. What are you gonna miss most? About handball or all of it? All of it, in general, other than you Dad, cause I’ve heard a lot of stories about your Dad and your Dad’s cheerleading abilities, and how everybody in the down county knows him at least, so other than having your Dad come in and cheer for you, what are you going to miss most about? From all of them I have to say being able to work with the team like working with the members of my team always felt good, we always had a good chemistry, we always laughed, joked around so I’m gonna miss that a lot. And I guess also the matches we had because a lot of them would get real intense specially for bocce and handball. There would be matches in handball where we’re just down by one point and like have about 10 to 20 seconds on the clock but we just need to get past them. And what do you think you’re going to take out of your four years of doing this. What do you think was the biggest thing you’re going to take away from it and say this was just, this helped me grow. What would you say? Well before I did any sports I was kind of umm, a really quiet person. I didn’t really want to talk to people at all. After this I became a lot more social. I’m a lot more willing to get to know people now. And I’m very thankful for that. That’s a great answer. And where do you want to see this go since you’re running this thing, do you want to see you grow even more for the county? I would love to see us grow at all, We have almost all high schools involved in bocce ball but I would love to see all high schools involved and also to grow in the other two sports as well. Yeah and I think that’s a great place for us to wrap up our discussion of corollary sports. Thank you Rori for coming and joining us. Thank you for having me. And Diondre thank you for coming up and joining us and spending some time and giving us really some great insight of how our Corollary sports are working here. Thank you for having me. And thanks everyone for joining us. I’m Cliff Elgin, and we’ll see you on the next episode of Sports Insight (MUSIC)

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