Students with special needs show off skills in Tri-County Athletic League

Published: Feb. 15, 2019 at 11:27 PM CST
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The gym at Valley Center High School is normally reserved on Friday for the boys and girls basketball teams. The student section is always full and the band blasts its normal rendition of "Sweet Caroline" while fans sing along.

On Friday afternoon, two teams took the court but they aren't the regular teams that always play.

The functional applied academics class at Valley Center gives students the chance to compete in their favorite sports. They compete in the Tri-County Athletic League and participate in other sports like soccer and cheerleading, but basketball is the fan favorite.

"It was amazing, I love the crowd when they cheer me on when I make a two-point shot," said Lance Welch.

He says playing games in front of the entire school makes him feel like his favorite player, Barry Brown Jr. from Kansas State.

The Hornets are undefeated on their season at 5-0. Players say home games are their favorite.

"It was so fun because the whole school came, I had a blast this season and last season too," added Cheyenne Alexander.

Head Coach Kendra Jantz says the games provide a spark not just for the players, but the student body as a whole.

"I think it means the world to them, even when we aren't in front of the whole student body. When they go play at the YMCA, they walk in with a shirt that says hornets and they're representing Valley Center High School," said Jantz.

The FAA class from Valley Center plays every Friday at the Farha Center at the South YMCA.