The Georgetown Unified Club Flag Football Team returned home from the National Intercollegiate-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) National Flag Football Championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma as National Champions!

Special Olympics Unified Sports brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities on the playing field, to build understanding and friendship through sport. In October, Georgetown’s Special Olympics Club held their first practice. Call it “Friday Night Lights” — every following Friday night, dozens of Special Olympics athletes and Georgetown students met at Kehoe Field on campus to build skills, learn plays, and cultivate friendship.

By late November, the travel team was selected, and the team ready to prepare for the national stage. Small, but mighty — there is no doubt that all six Unified teammates love the game and each other. The team’s chemistry is palpable on and off the field. The team’s power lies in athlete-led decision-making — athlete Darien “D3” Williams wrote the majority of the team’s playbook before the first day of practice.

After three days in Stillwater full of competitive pool play against other Special Olympics College Clubs from around the country, Georgetown Unified found themselves, a gritty first-year program, undefeated.

Nebraska-Lincoln Unified entered Championship Day as the two-time reigning National Champion and hadn’t lost a game in four years. Technically, Georgetown Unified hadn’t either, the team often joked.

 

The rest was history!

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 20th, the Hoyas beat the reigning champions, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Unified, 44-39 in a hard-fought battle with full team effort. Quarterback St. Anthony Taylor was named to the All-Tournament team, and running back D3 Williams was awarded All-Tournament MVP for his 10 touchdowns, six interceptions, and 13 tackles in just five games.

“You guys made me a honorary Hoya, that’s for life. We’re going to be 60 years old still chatting about how we made history.”

– Gary Boyd, wide receiver and SODC athlete

Congratulations to the Georgetown Unified Club who worked hard all season long, even as temperatures dropped and wind picked up at Georgetown. Week after week, the team encouraged each other, bonded over tv shows and movies, and perfected their playbook — this team is now family. We are so excited to continue growing the Unified movement at Georgetown University, and will be looking for a nack-to-back National Championship!