Oakdale High School Unified Tennis Team is Ready to Take on States

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Students practicing their tennis skills at Brunswick High School!

Peyton Whyte, Writer

As we get into the fall season, Unified Tennis falls back into action! Oakdale High school students of all grades have the opportunity to participate in unified sports at the beginning of the school year. 

 

The Unified Tennis program is run by Michelle Orzechowski. It is specifically geared towards students with developmental or physical disabilities, but anyone who would like to join can attend a meeting with Orzechowski before school starts.The team is combined with students from Tuscarora as well.

 

A few students playing Unified Tennis this year think it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, connect with others, and have some fun playing tennis! Not only is it meant to help students get exercise and physical activity, it can also help them develop crucial life skills such as teamwork and cooperation, as well as leadership roles. Sophomore Kirsten Cooney states, “I would recommend playing Unified Tennis to other people because it is a fun after school activity and you can make new friends!”

 

Practices take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, after school, from 2:30-3:30. Games take place some Mondays. Sophomore Ruby Pazos voiced, “My favorite game was against Urbana at Tuscarora. I dominated against two guys who were super impressed with me and my partner’s awesome skills.” 

 

Level matches and skill competitions are different options students can choose to participate in when signing up. In a level match, students can compete against different schools, based on their experience level. Skill competitions focus more on competing against others by their skill level. Scores get added up by points and the winner is determined.

 

There are different jobs participants take over during practices. Some students focus on helping out more with cleaning up, some work with other students and assisting them, and others play on the courts. 

 

“I felt connected to the other players when we worked together to help the players learn about tennis”, Pazos voiced. 

 

Cooney goes on to add, “I feel most connected to the players when we are doing doubles”.

 

Unified tennis is a sport for everyone to enjoy. It is also very beneficial to students. Pazos noted, “Unified tennis has benefited me as a person because I now know that everyone can play sports, like tennis, regardless of who you are or how often you practice”. 

 

The team has made it extremely far and will be attending states at University of Maryland on November 9th. Make sure to come out and support!