Co-ed varsity bocce team starts play at HHS


Marco Catini

Pictured is a white pallina bracketed by the red and blue bocce. HHS launched its coed varsity bocce team in December 2022. (Marco Catini/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Christina Lengle, Sports Editor

Hershey High’s new varsity coed sport is making special education students feel included in a level with regular education students.

The Bocce team is competing in its first season with eight matches scheduled.  Special education teacher Alaric Krause serves as the head coach for the team of eight regular education and eight special education students.  The main goal is to provide opportunities for students in special education to compete at a varsity level. 

Hershey’s athletic director Mike Montedero asked Krause if he would be interested in coaching this new sport, and Krause immediately said, yes.

Krause said, “I believe that inclusion for all students within the school district is one of the most important things a school can provide.”

The main focus of this varsity coed sport was, “to provide opportunities to students who may not otherwise have an option to participate in a varsity sport.  As well as, creating a sense of community,” said Krause.

Due to special ed students having less social interactions with other students throughout the day, bocce was able to fix that problem and create socialism for them. 

The team practices after school once a week in the halls of Hershey High School.

“We started this team a week prior to the first match,”  said Krause.  “As well as this being the inaugural year of Bocce at Hershey there is a lot to learn, but I am excited for this challenge,”

Although he has no prior experience of coaching bocce, Krause is very supportive of all the athletes and eager to learn.

The object of the game is to get the team’s bocce balls closest to the pallina, a small, to earn points.  Each match is 30 minutes long or until a team gets 16 Points.

So far, they have had two matches. Unfortunately, both came to a single frame tie breaker and ended in a loss.

Krause said winning was not the primary goal, but “Building friendships with students who may not have interaction on a daily basis.”