With an all-BEA finals match up in the Centre County regional champion tournament the night of Feb. 26, the unified bocce gold team secured a place at the PIAA state championship in Hershey. Regionals were held at Bellefonte Area High School and included a tournament-style set of matches between the two teams from Bald Eagle Area, and one team each from Bellefonte and State College area high schools.
The Gold team played Bellefonte in the first round, and the Blue team played State High. Both winners of the first-round matches, BEA went on to the championship against each other. A, 4-4, tie then forced a sudden-death style frame to determine the winner. Bellefonte Area took on State College in the bronze-medal match.
Unified sports include special needs students, known as the athletes, who work with regular-education students who act as partners. In Centre County, it's put on in part by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and Special Olympics PA, which has a motto, "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."