PAXTON, Mass.—In mid-September, the Anna Maria College football team began their annual bye weekend—typically a chance for team members to recover from lingering injuries and prepare for the long stretch of conference football games. This year, however, members of the AMCAT squad hit the field for a different kind of Sunday football moment.
On Sunday, September 18th, the AMCAT football team hosted Special Olympics athletes from Seven Hills Family Service for a day of flag football drills and competition. The two participating teams were the Shamrocks and the Spartans.
"It's great for our guys to see the Special Olympics athletes work so hard," said AMCAT head football coach Vincent Sinagra. "I think after the clinic, a lot of our guys started to look at their own athleticism and opportunity a bit differently. They aren't taking anything for granted."
Anna Maria coaches and players conducted the clinic, which was set up like an NFL-style combine. The day started with dashes and shuttle circuits before getting into more situational position-work such as passing, catching and running routes.
"I really enjoyed going through our stretch routine and showing the athletes how you get ready for practice. They seemed to really enjoy that part as well, learning the stretches and drills to take back to their own practices," said senior offensive lineman Micah Madir.
After drill work, the Spartans, Shamrocks and AMCATS divided up into teams for a flag football game.
"It was great to interact with our guests," said senior linebacker Stefano Marziale. "We were able to play a pick-up game of football that was enjoyable and competitive."
At the end of the day, the AMCAT squad awarded Michael Lynch with an MVP award for his hard work and effort throughout the day. His photo now sits proudly outside of the football locker room.
Sinagra has invited the team members of the Spartan and Shamrocks teams to attend an upcoming game and be recognized as special guests at halftime.