Brockton Bulldogs Win State Championship


For the second time, the May Center Brockton Bulldogs team has taken first place at the state championship basketball games! Games were sponsored by Special Olympics of Massachusetts and played at Auburn High School on March 7th and 8th.

Outfitted in new blue and white uniforms and fueled up with Gatorade, the Bulldogs played on a unified team in which students and staff played alongside each other on the court. Athletes played up to three games daily against peers with similar skillsets, from different schools. Jubilant parents and friends cheered them on.

“It made them feel like a typical high school team that their same-age peers were participating in,” said Jeanine Dalessio, one of the team’s coaches and a Clinical Social Worker at May Center School for Brain Injury and Neurobehavioral Disorders. “They played with such enthusiasm and excitement,” she continued. “And what great teamwork! They recognize that their success as a team depends on how each member performs.  

“We loved seeing them passing the ball and looking out for each other on the court; being a true team and including everyone, so each person got a chance to play. They made some three-point shots which were, of course, amazing! They were thrilled. They are pretty fantastic players.”

Two of the team’s members will soon complete their time at May. It made not only for special, but heartfelt opportunity for them to play this last time with their longtime teammates and new members.

Each student was presented with a medal, which they proudly wore.

The following Monday when the team returned to school, their spectacular win was announced over the school’s PA system. Students across all classrooms erupted in applause! Staff and students congratulated the team as they passed each other in the hallway.

“They felt like superstars,” said Dalessio. “And they are! We’re always excited to see our students succeed and be proud of themselves. And this is something they have worked really hard at.”

The team started to practice once a week in December, with pick up practices on Wednesday and during the school’s Fun Fridays. The Bulldogs excelled at community games and a qualifying round before moving on to the state championships.

The eight players were also led by coaches including Ana Rodrigues, the school’s Assistant Residential Director and Justin Goss, an Assistant Program Coordinator.

“Other staff have also been incredibly supportive of the team. They’ve volunteered to help coach, transport students to the games, and play alongside team members, all in an effort to help members be successful. Coach Goss participated in the games with the students, along with Kerwing Boisrond, Teacher Assistant and Mindy Don, Direct Support Professional.

“We would have a pizza party to celebrate, but due to the pandemic, we couldn’t. We still owe them a party. I’m sure they will hold us to it!”