Evergreen student attends Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Experience in Chicago

Jesus Perez from Evergreen.

Highline High’s Chance Stoneback.

Two Highline students joined the big leagues when they traveled to Chicago, July 31 – August 3 – Evergreen High School’s Jesus Perez ‘17 and Highline High School’s Chance Stoneback ‘18 represented Highline Public Schools, Special Olympics Washington and the Seattle Sounders in the Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Experience.

Only two players from each of the 21 Major League Soccer (MLS) markets were invited.

“Chance and Jesus are both huge soccer guys. They were thrilled at the opportunity to be participating at such a high level event and to have the chance to play among so many of their soccer heroes,” said Luke McPhee, a special education teacher and coach at Highline. McPhee travelled to Chicago with the athletes. “It is an event that we will never forget.”

The Unified Sports team is an inclusive sports program that brings together Special Olympics athletes and student partners on a single team for training and competition.

In Chicago, Perez and Stoneback each scored a goal in their event match, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

“They played a great game. They represented Washington and Unified well,” McPhee commented.

Highline was selected to attend the event in Chicago after placing second in Division 1 at the 2017 Unified Soccer High School State Competition and playing as the Unified Exchange team for the Sounder Exchange home match.

The Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Experience presented by MLS WORKS & ESPN is an opportunity to showcase the abilities and provide a unique experience for athletes with intellectual disabilities and their partners without intellectual disabilities. Young people participate in Unified Exchange programs in communities throughout the United States and Canada. MLS Clubs and Special Olympics nominate an athlete, partner and chaperone to serve as All-Star representatives for their communities.

The majority of the trip expenses were paid for by MLS. Additional expenses were funded by Special Olympics Washington.

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