Athletes of the Week – Mendham’s Unified Athletes vs Central


Photo Creds to Gillian Jasper:

Unified Soccer Athletes post game vs. Central. On the left is Elle Purpura, in the middle is Gillian Jasper, and on the right is Peyton Purpura.

Cardie Saunders, Sports Editor

Unified Sports is an athletic program that emphasizes inclusiveness and brings students with and without disabilities together as a team. The whole purpose of this program is to create as Ryan Scholte, one of the Presidents of the club, states, “a culture of inclusiveness” and to ultimately create new friendships and learn how to work as a team. Unified Sports offers three seasons with three different sports: soccer in the Fall, basketball in the Winter, and track in the spring. Not only is Unified an athletic program, but a club outside of sports as well. This group of kids apart of the club led by its five student Presidents, including those by the names of Ryan Scholte, Gillian Jasper, Michael Johanson, Sophia Glassner, and Tj Gembala, often attend other after school events and activities like “game nights, movie nights, and fund raises” as explained by Gillian Jasper. This club has so many components to it and is truly amazing when you take a closer look at its impact. 

it is so much fun being with our friends; it is just so great!”

— Gillian Jasper

Despite being a program for a few years now, this Unified team has gone under the radar until just recently as the rest of Mendham’s students have come to realize its impact and are all in for support. For this week’s “Athlete of the Week” we would like to honor not just one athlete, but the team as a whole. This team of course being Mendham’s Unified Soccer team. These athletes deserve this due to their amazing teamwork and determination against Mendham’s rival, Central. On September 25th, Mendham’s Unified Soccer team had a huge and very competitive game against Central, their rival. This nail-biter of a game was lead by Central the majority of the match, who had a 1-0 lead from the very start. However, with great persistence and hard work, they were able to tie up with minutes left to make to score 1-1. Although the result only ended in a tie on the score sheet, within everyone’s hearts it can be seen as a major win! The team had a lot of fun not only playing the game of soccer, but also as Sara Azam stated, “it was fun cheering on our friends”. In addition to the very entertaining game, the audience along with the “Mendham Moshpit” filled the bleachers to maximum capacity and made the game that much more exciting. As Gillian Jasper explains, “the game against Central last week was really cool. It was so awesome that we had such a great crowd of students and administrators and the Moshpit as well! It was really motivating.” 

Keep the team spirit up as this weeks “Athletes of the Week” are about to compete in a big home game coming up on October 17th against Randolph at 4pm.