History Made at Hobart High School

Written by Brandon Marciniak

History was made this past spring at Hobart High School. That history was having the school’s first Unified Track team. This is starting to be a trend for the school’s of Indiana as it’s numbers of teams and athletes have increased since 2013. So what is Unified Track? Unified Sports was first developed by Special Olympics as a means of providing a quality experience of sports training and competition in an inclusive environment that allows friendships to form. It is the vision of this joint IHSAA / Special Olympics Indiana sports project to allow high school students with and without intellectual disabilities to collectively represent their high school in an IHSAA sanctioned activity by participating together on a Unified Sports team.

In the team’s first inaugural season, it was a complete success. With the help of Ms. Ring and Mr. Wesley, they were able to put a team together and compete. When asking one of the members how it got started, here’s what Jordan Perryman had to say.  “It all started with our friend Lizzy Govert, and she gave us the idea and motivation to start our track team. We all thank her and our coaches, Mr. Wesley and Ms. Ring.” This years athletes include, Jordan Perryman (100m dash and long jump), Trevor Drapac (100m dash), Chet Wagner (400m dash and 4×1 relay), Jacob Yardley (4×1 relay and 400m dash), Jazzilyn Damron (shot put and 4×1 relay), Bailey Demantes (4×1 relay and 400m dash), Serenity Smith (100m dash), and Domenic Stengel (long jump and 4×1 relay). The bricks first started their season off strong at Valparaiso High School competing against schools from around the region. The following meet would then be at Crown Point High School, with the last at Griffith High School. When asking athlete Jordan Perryman what unified track is about, he had this to say, “We are teaming with other teams in disabilities to go to a meet and show our coaches what we can do.”

Athlete Jordan Perryman dashing through the 100 meter


The Bricks had a strong first season and of course tons of fun. Jacob Yardley had this to say on if he enjoyed being apart of the track team. “It was fun because I got to use my speed.” This is a great opportunity for kids to use athletics as a platform and make tons of lifelong memories. Jazzilyn Damron’s favorite memory was, “talking with my friends and being able to hang out with them.” What comes with the memories is being able to be apart of a team. For Jordan Perryman, his favorite thing about being apart of a team was simply this. “It’s really really fun. Talking with my team and the other team. It’s all about leadership and sportsmanship. We did not come to win or lose, we came to have fun.” Simply that is the most important part of the experience is having fun. At the end of the interview, Jordan wanted me to include his advice for next year. “Work hard, listen to coaches, they will teach you how to be respectful. Winning or losing doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you have fun and compete.”

Teammates Jacob Yardley and Jordan Perryman talking it over after the long jump


The unified track team after their meet at Crown Point. (Michael Burton, Mr. Wesley, Antonio Irrazzary, Coen Lollis, Jordan Perryman, Trevor Drapac, Chet Wagner, Hayden Mclamb, Aimee Gresham, Bailey Demantes, Lilly Butler, Eygypt Scott, Lizzy Govert, Ms.Ring, Jazzilyn Damron, Charity Kirk, Faith Spencer, Jacob Yardley.)