Arizona’s high school football season ended recently with six schools winning state division titles, but there was another football team that also won big this season and was the only Arizona high school team to win a national title.
Congratulations go out to Surprise Valley Vista’s Unified Sports flag football team for representing Arizona well in Maryland in November. Unified Sports is an Arizona Interscholastic Association sanctioned entity for high school student athletes with intellectual disabilities.
More than 100 Arizona high schools compete in Unified Sports. This season, Valley Vista’s flag football team became the first Arizona Unified team to travel and win a national championship event.
Valley Vista’s team is comprised of players and their partners, who are students at the schools they attend. In charge of the teams are usually the very dedicated special education teachers at each campus.
Valley Vista’s Unified Sports teams started competing in 2012 with the help of teachers, on-campus coaches and student athletes. The first student athlete to sign up as a partner at Valley Vista was Brady Hochhalter, a freshman baseball player at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.
Once he heard that Valley Vista’s flag football team was travelling to Maryland, Hochhalter made plans to watch Valley Vista play. The support from the Valley Vista community helped spur one of this year’s football success stories in Arizona.
To learn more about Valley Vista’s trip and view photos of the team, click on the arrow above to start a photo slide show. Below are the members of the Valley Vista team.
Teacher Karin Morrow