Murray crowned state champions in unified soccerNov 01, 2022 08:30PM ● By Julie Slama
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Playing on Real Salt Lake’s home field after Miss America Emma Broyles sang the national anthem, Murray High beat Riverton High’s Silverwolves Oct. 4 at the second annual Show Up for Unified Sports Special Olympics State Soccer Championship game to win the state championship in its division in unified soccer.
They were congratulated 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.
Murray started the season with two teams playing at a regional tournament Sept. 20 at Hunter High where the school’s competitive team took second and its player development team placed third. Then, they played in the state playoffs Sept. 30 where the competitive team qualified for the state championship.
Murray player Braedon Domiguez played alongside his brother, Turbo.
“It’s hard; I have to kick the ball fast to pass or else I could get hurt,” said the second-year player. “I like having my best buddies there to help and cheer me on.”
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.
A small, but vocal crowd of students, parents and cheerleaders rallied the Spartans.
Other area high school teams that competed in the soccer championships or playoffs include Alta, Brighton, Jordan, Hillcrest, Hunter and Skyline.