HOOP members Emily Thomas, Dayna Sterner, Jessica Marinaro, and Sneha D’Andrea at the YAC Convention.

HOOP Club takes on the YAC Conference!

February 14, 2020

When you first read the title of this article, did you question what ‘YAC’ was? Did you first think of the animal and wonder why a group of your fellow students went on a field trip to go learn about it? If so, that would be a great thought but that’s not what this conference was about! YAC is short for Youth Activation Committee- or what we at Lake Shore call ‘H.O.O.P’ Club (helping out other people). Among other things, HOOP club is responsible for a lot of what happens behind the scene for our Unified Basketball team. 

The first YAC conference held in our region was five years ago and Lake Shore started in 2016.  This conference is to help educate schools about unified sports and their importance. It helps everyone share their ideas and explain the practices that are currently working for other schools, including Lake Shore, Eden, Starpoint, Iroquois and many more. HOOP Club takes a couple of students there each year to gather new ideas to bring to the table for the spring season. 

This year, Lake Shore was offered the exciting opportunity of being able to present how we get “Fans in the Stands.” Jessica Mariano started off the presentation by talking about how to get involved as a student coach while Dayna Sterner and myself, Emily Thomas, finished it off by talking about ways we get fans in the stands! For an example a unique way we get everyone hyped up is by printing out large pictures of the whole team and putting them in the hallway.

Not only is this conference very educational, it is also very fun! Icebreakers are thrown in between presentations giving listeners the opportunity to interact with their peers about what their school does and how they can help each other out. When asked, Jessica Mariano said that her favorite part of the conference was, “Getting to talk to other schools and hearing their stories about what is important to them.” With so many different schools, you never know what you will hear and what you can then bring back to your own school.

 Leaning more towards the educational side of the event, when asked what she learned, Mrs.Alessi replied, “What I have learned is how a school becomes a unified champion school.” The criteria to become a unified school is that you must have two seasons of sports running (such as unified basketball and bowling) and to have your coaches be certified. Unfortunately, Lake Shore currently only has unified basketball- but hopefully as the program expands, we will have more! With all these new ideas, Jessica Marinaro hopes “To bring this new information to the coaches, to make this season even better than the last”!

With so much going on in the YAC community, there is also much to love about it. Both Dayna Sterner and Mrs.Alessi said their favorite part is, “Seeing everyone working together and working with the students.” Everyone puts in lots of hard work to make sure the best possible outcome happens. Along the same lines, Jessica Marinaro said her favorite was, “Cheering on the team and seeing how included everyone is.” 

With the unified basketball season coming up soon this spring, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for when your team is playing! 


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