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Cape Tech’s “Fans in the Stands” Brings Basketball and Hype on Feb. 29

The Cape May County Unified Basketball team (teal) playing against the Egg Harbor Township Unified Basketball team (black) on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024.

By Nina Contento for Cape Tech

Cape May Unified Sports, a Special Olympics program, will have their final game of the season against Mainland Regional High School Unified on Feb. 29.

On Thursday, Feb. 29, Cape May County Technical High School (Cape Tech) will host the Cape May Unified Sports’ final basketball game of the season, “Fans in the Stands,” against Mainland Regional High School Unified with the entire district taking part. This last game has a special name because the district hopes to have as many fans as possible attend the 3 p.m. game to support the teams. Cape May Unified is a partnership between Cape Tech and Cape May County Special Services School District.

Matthew Litow, Unified Sports athlete from Cape May County Special Services before the “Clap Out” for the final home soccer game in the Fall of 2023.

Across the district, students and staff members have been getting ready for every aspect of the game from prepping a snack stand to practicing routines. Multiple clubs, art classes and sports teams at Cape Tech are creating spirit posters to hang in the school and display during the game for the graduating Unified seniors. The Cape Tech American Sign Language Club will sign the national anthem and the Cape Tech Cheer Team will welcome participants and introduce the Unified players at the start of game. The Cheer Team will also perform a choreographed routine during halftime. Cape Tech seniors will have a hot food and snack stand (cash only) while the Student Council will be selling sweet treats.

“Unified Sports has been a game changer when it comes to being able to provide opportunities for social inclusion for our students at CMCSSSD and CMT,” said Cape May County Technical High School and Cape May County Special Services School District Superintendent Jamie Moscony. “Our students and their families have found a sense of belonging and acceptance through participation in these sports events as well as our end-of-season celebrations that we host with many of our Atlantic and Cape May County sending district Unified Sports teams.”

Unified Sports is a Special Olympics Program designed to give students with and without intellectual disabilities the opportunity to play on the same team. The Fans in the Stands game is designed to promote unity among the athletes, as well as the school and local community. School counselor and student assistance coordinator of Cape May County Special Services School District Erin Oleen is the lead Cape May Unified Coach at Special Services. Joining her as coaches are Cape Tech learning disabilities teacher consultant Brittany Cascia, Cape Tech mathematics teacher Madeline Craig, and Cape Tech science teacher Brittany Collins.

“Unified Sports is truly an amazing opportunity for all students. The teamwork, competitiveness, and sportsmanship among all of the athletes is remarkable,” said Oleen. “If you have never been a spectator at a Unified Sports game, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

Students from Cape Tech and Cape May County Special Services compete with other Unified Sports teams across South Jersey. In addition to teams from Mainland Regional High School, they also compete with Egg Harbor Township High School and Cedar Creek High School teams. The Cape May Unified program had its opening season during the 2022-2023 school year.

All Fans in the Stands attendees, whether family and friends or Cape Tech students, are encouraged to make posters, banners and even organize pep rallies.

For more information on Cape May County Technical High School, go to CapeMayTech.com.

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