Making Friends Through Unified Soccer
Dylan Clark’s nervousness was not hard to notice. In front of a crowd at David Jaynes Stadium, Clark held his hands tightly intertwined, at the point of turning to white. It was, after all, Clark’s first chance to represent his school in an athletic competition. When the game ended, though, Clark could not resist cheering his loudest and high-fiving anyone standing within reach, even the other team. This behavior is rarely seen from Clark in the crowded hallways of Bonner Springs High School, but during the halftime showcase of Unified Soccer, it became Clark’s time to shine. “I think he was kind of scared at first but once we talked it over with him and he knew it was going to be fun, I think he really settled into it,” Clark’s mom, Stacy Clark, said. “The interaction part of [the Unified Soccer team] was a huge step for Dylan, I only saw about one or two times where he would try to hide and that was amazing.” Dylan typically kept to himself when passing through the halls. “Now Dylan’s whole demeanor at school has changed since doing soccer,” Unified Coach, Denise Chowning said, “You see his smiles in the hall and he approaches groups of friends,” Stacy said he is excited to start soccer again and is even in the process of teaching his little brother.