Bocce ball brings many priceless experiences


Photo by Arlin Roth

The BAHS Bocce ball team during the Winter of 2022 season.

Davis Corman, Content Manager

As the winter season came to an end, memories made from this year’s bocce ball season will live on forever.

Since 2018, Bellefonte has participated in unified bocce ball. This consists of individuals in the school’s Life Skills class along with others that work together to play the sport. With COVID-19 protocols in place, these past two years have looked different for the bocce ball team, but nevertheless, students this year were able to travel to nearby schools in the county, which was cultivated in the district playoff match. 

“Last year, our season looked very different due to COVID. We couldn’t play against other schools. This year we were able to compete against BEA, State College, Penns Valley, and Central Mountain. We loved game day,” Life Skills Support teacher, Ms. Lisa Reitz, who has worked with the students in the past years, said.

Although winning is a desire for the individuals playing the game, many expressed the importance of simply being able to play and spend time with others. The sport provides many individuals with the ability to hang out with friends and get to know new people. 

“My favorite part is that it is almost like bowling but there are non-pins. I really wish it would go on forever but it never can,” senior Kenny Russo said. 

Moreover, with students at BAHS having the opportunity to volunteer with the sport and help out with the Life Skills class at competitions, seniors Andrew McChesney and Sophie Reiter took up the opportunity. 

“It is very rewarding seeing how happy all of the athletes were and that made me happy as well,” Sophie said.

As mentioned before, the year’s season ended with the district’s playoff match at Bald Eagle. Although the year was going great for the students, Bellefonte had yet to win a match. But their streak would end in arguably the most important time. 

“We hadn’t won a single match the whole season and when districts rolled around we were on fire,” Sophie said.

Unfortunately, with a rules dispute, Bellefonte would be disqualified in one of their matches, leading them to finish second in the tournament. But that didn’t deter the students from celebrating their success this year.

“The fact that we got second was my favorite part. It was very close and we nearly one,” sophomore Amber Keith said. 

As the season now is coming to an end, Ms. Reitz reflected back on the experiences that this sport offered to her students. 

“Something that I love seeing is the level of great sportsmanship every single player has. Everyone respects each other and builds each other up. The impact of that for my students is immeasurable,” she said.