The McCutcheon High School Unified Flag Football team is preparing for its second straight appearance in the IHSAA championship game.
“We won all of our games this year, but we try not to measure our success by wins and losses,” says Coach Cory Rush. “We try to focus more on getting all of our student athletes involved and making sure that they are working together as a team, and most importantly having fun.”
McCutcheon advanced through the sectional and regional competition by beating Mooresville, Carmel and Twin Lakes. The state championship matchup against Carroll (Fort Wayne) will take place October 17 at Grand Park in Westfield.
The day before the big game, students lined the hallways to give the Unified Flag Football team a rousing sendoff to the state championship. Rush and Coach Gina Bunch say they are stressing to the players to do their best and enjoy every minute.
“The sendoff is something the kids really enjoyed last year and our kids really wanted to do it again this year,” Rush says. “Our administration and athletic department do a great job organizing things like this. It's really a special thing to see our kids get recognized for their accomplishments and get the attention they deserve."
Senior member Cheyenne Myers says it’s not about winning or losing. “It’s about staying positive, sticking together and teamwork,” she says.
Unified Sports enables persons with and without intellectual disabilities to participate on the same team for sports training and competition as part of the "Champions Together” partnership between the IHSAA and Special Olympics Indiana.
Junior Marya Farrell says being a part of this team is special. “If you ever get a chance to attend a unified sporting event, you should go, because it has taught me the true meaning of sportsmanship.”