Jordan, Alta high unified soccer teams champions in their playNov 03, 2022 07:24PM ● By Julie Slama
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
While Jordan and Alta High teams did not win the state unified soccer title, they are still stars on the field.
Jordan High played for the title game in its division on Real Salt Lake’s home field after Miss America Emma Broyles sang the national anthem. The players fell short of beating Woods Cross High Oct. 4 at the second annual Show Up for Unified Sports Special Olympics State Soccer Championship game.
The players were congratulated with second place medals in their division by Broyles, Miss Utah Lindsey Larsen, Utah’s First Lady Abby Cox and RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
Unified soccer, a program of Special Olympics Utah in partnership with the Utah High School Activities Association, allows student-athletes with and without disabilities to play on the same team.
While the teams are coed and play competitively five versus five on a smaller sized soccer field, the focus is on development of skills, friendship, understanding and sportsmanship as often players on either team will cheer for one another.
Both teams began their season playing at a regional tournament at Riverton High Sept. 20 before competing in the state playoffs Sept. 30 where Jordan qualified for the state championship.
Jordan sophomore Xavier Steggell and junior Cael Sieverts played together on the Beetdiggers team.
“It’s great to get to do sports and support each other,” Sieverts said. “We spend time practicing and hanging out together.”
Steggell adds that it’s competitive, yet fun.
“We’re getting to enjoy the sport for the pure fun of it,” he said. “It’s really rewarding, and I’d love to play other sports together.”
From more than 30 high school unified soccer teams in the area, 16 teams advanced in their respective divisions to the state championship games and participated in the parade of athletes.
Other area high school teams that competed in the soccer championships or playoffs include Brighton, Hillcrest, Hunter, Murray, Riverton and Skyline.