Lancer Spotlight 2/15/23: Lancers compete in Interscholastic Unified Indoor Bocce State Tournament


Keira Knedeisen

Emily Cohen smiles after throwing a great shot against CH Flower High School in the unified bocce ball team’s last match.

by Keira Knedeisen, Reporter

On February 15, the Linganore Lancers Unified Bocce Ball team went to the Interscholastic Unified Indoor Bocce State Tournament where they played in division green against eight other schools from Maryland to try and win the gold. 

The state competition took place in the Hagerstown Community College gymnasium, where bocce ball matches are played for either a 30-minute time period or the first team to 16 points, which generates an automatic win.

If the game seems to be an even match-up, as many rounds as possible using all four balls being thrown by each team (each a different color either red or green) will be played as the time ticks down.

For people who do not know or understand, scoring is determined by how many of each team’s balls are closest to the yellow pallina ball (the target), as compared to the other teams. However, sometimes scoring was difficult to determine at states since there were designated officials to measure, keep score, and tell each team whose turn it was and when.

Unified players are required to play every round since there would be no competition without them. Team coaches are also kept of the picture during play to encourage players to strategize and compete on their own for the wins they need. 

From the beginning to the end of the competition, emotions ran high, and negative emotions began to arise for some athletes.

Linganore sophomore Delaney Cooney said, “I’m anxious because there are so many people, and this place is huge!”

Linganore’s team consisted of eight players, who over their nine-hour day played a total of four games. Although the team competing only consisted of eight players, Linganore had a huge support system and cheering section with parents, friends and other team members who had placed fourth at the regional competition and could not advance to the state competition.

One of the players who was able to participate in that state competition commented on her experience.

At the competition, “I could put in my efforts and my dedication to the team,” senior Delaney Merrit said.

Linganore played their first match of the day against Parkdale High School at 11:45. After the 30-minute period, Linganore was victorious, securing a 9-2 win. This advanced them to their next match at 12:30 against Winston Churchill High School.

Although Linganore put up their toughest fight of the day, it was not enough, as they ended up losing 9-6. Winston Churchill High School ultimately became state champions within the division.

The Linganore players said their opponent seemed to know exactly what they were doing and how to win; everyone could tell they wanted it the most.

Linganore team’s coach, Christina Moats, perceived a definite impact the match had on the team.

“The team was definitely tired, and it was taxing on the team as a whole,” Moats said.

The Lancers redeemed themselves in their third match, a consultation match, following a break for relaxation and lunch. Despite dealing with a disappointing loss to Churchill, the Lancers’ confidence bounced back with a huge 16 – 2 win against Middletown High School. 

The team’s final match of the day decided which school would be taking third and fourth place. Players reported fatigue and a lack of motivation took a toll, costing the Lancer’s the match with 6-5 defeat. This was Linganore’s closest match of the day, and they lost by only a half an inch to CH Flowers High School. 

An awards ceremony followed the compeitition, and the Linganore team was presented with fourth-place ribbons and pins. This recognition for all their hard work and preparation capped off a very successful season for the unified bocce ball team. 

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