Rolling it for a win

Bocce team wins first-ever home match


Jessica Majors/FHS Press

After finishing up their first set on Jan. 19 against Blackhawk, part of the bocce team comes together in a huddle to hear feedback from Coach Mott.

Capturing their first win, the bocce team is excited for their future here at Freedom. Getting approved to have a team back in October, coach Ms. April English has been in recruitment mode to get a full roster of kids who are just as excited as she is about the amazing opportunity that Freedom has been presented with.

The bocce team is represented by seven players, Steffan Paganie, Gabe Kelly, Gabriel Davis, Tommy Sommerville, Brenna McIlvain, Wyatt Boyer and Sara Mengel. Holding the positions of co-captains are Davis and Mengel.

“It was a special moment for me to be named co-captain because it was my first year playing on a varsity team and to be named that was amazing,” Davis said, “I have to set up and show a lot of leadership to hold this role. I make sure we have fun and enjoy my time with my teammates because they are all my friends.”

Starting practices at the beginning of December, the team has been preparing by practicing twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and picking up some scrimmages throughout the month to get the flow of their upcoming season.

“My favorite part about bocce is learning all the rules to the game and just getting to compete with my friends because it is a lot of fun,” Davis said. 

On Jan. 12, the team traveled to Beaver to square up against the Bobcats in their first match of the season. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs fell in two straight sets, ending the night with a score of 2-0. The loss did not upset the Bulldogs as they had a lot of fun and learned a lot to get better. 

The Bulldogs then faced off against the Blackhawk Cougars on Jan.19, which marked a historical moment in Freedom’s history as it was their first-ever home bocce match which was held in the gymnasium. All fans that attended the match got a coupon that they could use to redeem one free “Bocce Blue” drink, which is a specialty at Cafe 116 and a fan favorite that many students enjoy.

The Bulldogs had no pressure with the home crowd and defeated the Cougars in two straight sets.

“I was super excited for us to win at the first home match. I even got my 5th varsity point which was a huge moment for me,” Davis said.

Looking to continue putting W’s in the winning column, the Bulldogs plan to head to Beaver Falls to take on the Tigers on Jan. 26, then they will return for home-court advantage on Feb. 2 to face off against the Rochester Rams. They hope to pack the stands again to bring lots of energy for the team. 

“The entire school can be involved by supporting our team and packing the gym for the matches. Supporting the team makes the players feel valued, no matter the sport, and what a wonderful feeling that is!” English said.