Rolling into a new season


As the bocce season rolls back around, the team works together to practice and learn the different aspects of the game. They welcomed a new coach and four new members this season in addition to their four returning members. 

Ms. Kennedy Carnahan became the new life skills teacher at Freedom this year. With this position, Ms. Carnahan was given the opportunity to take over and coach bocce. 

“I am so excited! I coached at New Brighton last year and I am excited to work with a new group of students. We are looking forward to having new players on the team and getting to see how we can all work together,” Ms. Carnahan said.

This season, there are eight players: junior Wyatt Boyer, junior Brenna McIlvain, junior Caden Martin, junior Steffan Paganie, junior Anthony Battaglia, sophomore Christopher Denkovich, sophomore Patrick Varner and Thomas Somerville. The co-captains are McIlvain and Paganie. 

The team meets twice a week after school for practices. Members take time before and after practices to sit and chat to help them get to know each other better. Another way Ms. Carnahan had the players bond was through a “disABILITY” awareness event on Dec. 8 and 9. The team worked together to put on this event for the high school. They worked with the life skills classes and organized this event as a way to show other students what life with a disability is all about. Like any sport, teamwork and teammates are one of the most important aspects. A strong bond between its members allows for the communication and collaboration that is crucial to a successful season.

“I was drawn to bocce because I thought it was a sport that I would enjoy. I was also drawn because some of my friends are my team members for bocce. My favorite thing about bocce would be connecting with my friends and teammates a little bit better,” Battaglia said.

Bocce is different from other sports in the sense that it gives all members of our student body a chance to be a part of something great. The players are able to come together and give it their all while truly feeling like a part of a team. At the beginning of a game, a ball called the pallina is rolled. The players will then take turns rolling balls to see who can get the ball the closest to the pallina.  

“My favorite thing is the little [ball] called the pallina. I got to roll it [last season]. I like rolling the balls and I like when they hit the other balls and it hits the pallina,” Paganie said.

The team’s first home game was on Dec. 21st. The players are excited about the upcoming matches and look forward to getting as much support from the students and community as possible.