Can we help you find something?
The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
What You Need To Know
  • April 24Lunch for 04/24/24 - Chimichurri Pork Tacos
  • April 24Breakfast for 04/25/24 - Bacon Egg and Cheese Croissant
  • April 23Lunch for 04/22/24 - No School!
  • April 23Breakfast for 04/24/24 - Breakfast Boat
  • April 22Lunch for 04/22/24 - Crispy Chicken Sandwich
  • April 22Breakfast for 04/23/24 - No School!
  • April 22Announcements for 04/22/24
The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Rolling through the competition

The bocce team begins their season
Melissa Krainer
Teammates celebrate after their bocce game.

The Bocce team season is underway for the year as they follow an impressive previous season. The Bocce team went 7-1 and made it all the way to the district playoffs before they lost the championship game last year. There are nine returning players and five new players this year.

“The season has been good so far, but we’ve only been able to play one game,” senior Connor Adams said. 

The season has gone very well through games and practices. We are becoming closer and learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses more and more every day,” senior Mycah Long said.

The bocce coaches know what they are looking for in teammates.

“Just the willingness and desire to work together with other students of different abilities to strategize and have fun,” Coach Amy Savino said.

This season the team has high hopes for what’s to come down the road as more games and tournaments are on the horizon.

“I expect us to do very well throughout the season as we continue to grow as a team and develop and learn from each other more through practices and games. We have a couple of tournaments coming up and hopefully they go well,” Long said.

“We have about 60% of returning players from last year,” A. Savino said.  “Last year was our very first Special Olympics team for AASD ever.  I believe with that comes a bit of pressure and anxiousness, especially with our athletes.  This year we are seeing the kids a little more comfortable which allows for more time to just have fun.  And they are really having the time of their lives.  We also have a tournament this year including 12 local teams so that will be something new to us in which we are so excited for.”

The team has practices multiple times a week throughout the season. They’ve had players shine and have dedicated themselves to the sport this season.

“We practice twice a week to prepare for our games, and we always warmup before game day so we can get used to the court,” Adams said. “Connor (Smith) has been the MVP, he loves the sport and always has a positive attitude.”

“Not a huge commitment but just enough to get together to play bocce and keep those connections going,” A. Savino said.  “We are a winter sport just like any other winter sport here at Altoona, so our season officially opens typically mid November.  At this time we begin practices.  Games usually start anywhere from mid December to beginning of January.  Our regular season ends mid February.  If we make playoffs, like we did last year, it will go to the end of February or early March.”

All the athletes are the MVP’s. Bocce is a team game, and everyone is needed to win, but the MVP would have to be the athletes. The joy on their faces when they play really shows that they are enjoying themselves and the game,” Long said.

Bocce is a team sport that requires help from teammates throughout the game. Teammates help each other to get closer to the pallino, the ball they are aiming at or knocking out the other team, they need their teammates.

“Bocce is one of those games where you have a player to back you up. If you mess up, there is someone behind you that can help the team get closer to the victory. I have been that player that backs someone up but also the player that needs backed up,” Long said.

“Honestly this sport has very little to do with competition,” A. Savino said.  “Bocce really can go either way from match to match.  It is all about having fun and being part of a team with peers.”

Savino and Jeff Savino are returning as coaches this year.

“Being parents of a special needs child, we are always looking for new ways to keep our son, and all students of different abilities, engaged with peers to have every opportunity as any other child has,” A. Savino said.  “It is a beautiful thing to be a part of, seeing our players of all different abilities come together as one for this amazing experience.   This is what sportsmanship, teamwork and friendships are truly all about.”


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Brandon Auker
Brandon Auker, Reporter

My name is Brandon Auker, and this is my first year on the Mountain Echo staff. I've always loved writing, and even considered a career in journalism for sports. In my freetime, I like to hangout with my friends, watch sports and play video games.

Melissa Krainer
Melissa Krainer, Reporter
Ciao! My name is Melissa Krainer, and this is my second year reporting for the Mountain Echo. I’m very excited to be a part of the staff this year as a sophomore! I’ve always been passionate about writing, and I can’t wait to help report on school and community events this year. In my free time, you might find me crocheting, reading, playing the violin or working on math puzzles. I speak both English and German fluently. This is one of my favorite quotes: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Comments (0)

All Mountain Echo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *