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SWOC Spotlight: Harrison Wildcats
Harrison Makes ESPN’s Top 25 National Honor Roll
The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom, and school climates of acceptance. This is accomplished by implementing inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and whole school engagement.
Over the last 7 years Cassie Montgomery, Ashley Hotopp and Abby Sherwood have been on a mission to make Harrison a Unified Champion School of Special Olympics Ohio, a school and community that embraces acceptance and inclusion. With the unwavering support of Athletic Director Mark Meibers, the Harrison Boosters and all Southwest Local School District staff members, the Wildcats were able to accomplish that a few years ago, but Harrison didn’t want to stop there!!!
Over the last two years, the Wildcats have gone on to prove sustainability and community support throughout Harrison. The Wildcats have embraced inclusive youth leadership and whole school engagement through events such as Acceptance week and more. This year, Harrison applied for consideration as a National Banner Unified Champion School through Special Olympics. The Wildcats had to meet 10 standards of excellence and were reviewed by a national panel. Proudly, Harrison is the FIRST and ONLY school in Ohio to have gotten this recognition!!! 87 schools applied for this distinction and the Wildcats have made ESPN’s top 25 national honor roll!!! This is HUGE!!! Harrison hopes to lead the way for Southwest Ohio in the #inclusionrevolution. The Wildcats live this mission in the Southwest Local School District and could not be prouder to be a part of Harrison!!!
Harrison High School offers a Unified Track team in the Spring and hosts Unified Basketball, and Flag Football events for Special Olympics Hamilton County. Athletes in grades 6-12 are also involved in Unified Swimming, Unified Bowling, Unified Soccer and more! Unified teams are a line item within the Harrison Boosters and these Athletes are recognized as any other sport in the School District.
If you would like to read more about The National Banner, click here: https://www.specialolympics.org/our-work/unified-champion-schools/banner-recognition-program
To see the Wildcats’ submission video, grab a tissue, then click here: https://vimeo.com/561329151/e776cd3801
Kiefer Bell Finishes 3rd at State Cross Country Meet
Talawanda's Kiefer Bell ran a time of 15:16.5 at the OHSAA Division I State Cross Country Meet to claim a 3rd place finish. He amassed the following achievements in the weeks leading up to the State Meet: Regional Meet Runner-up; District Meet Champion; and Southwest Ohio Conference Champion. Kiefer was also selected the 2021 SWOC Runner of the Year. This year marks the third consecutive season he has qualified for the State Meet, as well as the third straight time he has been named the SWOC Runner of the Year. Congratulations, Kiefer, on your outstanding Senior season and career accomplishments!!!
Edgewood Advances in OHSAA Football Playoffs
The Edgewood Cougars have advanced to the Division II Football Regional Semifinals by virtue of a 52-15 victory over Stebbins. The win over Stebbins is the Cougars’ second playoff victory this year, their first came the week prior when Edgewood defeated Sidney 37-10. The Cougars have now won nine consecutive games to improve their overall record to 9-2. With only 16 Division II schools remaining in the playoffs, Edgewood will face Piqua in the next round. This Sweet Sixteen contest will take place on Friday, November 12 at 7:00 PM. The site of the game is Huber Heights Wayne High School. Congratulations and good luck to the Cougars and Head Coach Scott Clemmons!!!
Talawanda Sending Two to State Cross Country Meet
The Southwest Ohio Conference has qualified two runners for the Division I Cross Country State Meet on Saturday, November 6 at Fortress Obetz in Obetz, Ohio. The girls’ race is scheduled to begin at 3:00 PM and the boys’ race is scheduled to start at 4:00 PM. Talawanda's Hannah Lippincott (Senior) and Kiefer Bell (Senior) qualified as individuals at the Troy Division I Cross Country Regional Meet. Hannah qualified with a time of 19:51.7, while finishing 20th in the Regional Meet. Two weeks earlier, she finished first at the SWOC Cross Country Championship Meet and was named SWOC Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year for the third consecutive year. Hannah has qualified for the State Meet the last two years. Kiefer qualified with a time of 16:10.5, while finishing as the Runner-up in the Regional Meet. Two weeks earlier, he finished first at the SWOC Cross Country Championship Meet and was named SWOC Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year for the third consecutive year. This is also Kiefer’s third straight year of qualifying for the State Meet. Hannah and Kiefer are coached by Paul Stiver. Congratulations and good luck at the State Meet!!!