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Unified Rebels Take on Unified Tide for Special Olympics Mississippi

Ole Miss student Mary Evelyn Webb and Special Olympics athlete Taylor Rosenthal participate in the Unified Rebels flag football team.
Ole Miss student Mary Evelyn Webb and Special Olympics athlete Taylor Rosenthal participate in the Unified Rebels flag football team.

Special Olympics Mississippi kicks off the 2016 season of the Unified Sports Rivalry Series at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 16) as the Unified Tide from the University of Alabama compete against the Unified Rebels of the University of Mississippi at the Ole Miss Intramural Fields.

The rivalry series unites athletes and fans by pairing students with Special Olympics athletes in the inclusive Play Unified movement to break down stereotypes and create friendships.

“Our Special Olympic athletes and Ole Miss partners have been practicing for two weeks to prepare for this game,” said Amanda Alpert, UM coordinator of intramural sports and sport clubs.

“All our athletes and partners have previously participated in one of our Unified Intramural Sports leagues. They have built strong bonds with each other and are excited to work together to take on the Unified Tide this Friday.”

Across the country, 24 NCAA teams from rival universities will compete in Play Unified football competitions to promote inclusion and respect.

“The Unified Sports Rivalry Series brings the power of unified sports to the college environment to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics,” said Jim Beaugez, Special Olympics Mississippi director of communications.

Ole Miss students and Alpert developed Mississippi’s first Special Olympics college program in 2015 with both flag football and basketball programs to include Special Olympics athletes from across north Mississippi.

During the first two years of the Unified Egg Bowl between Ole Miss and Mississippi State, fans raised more than $15,000 to support Special Olympics Mississippi. The Unified Rebels lead the series 2-0.

The third annual Unified Egg Bowl is set for 5 p.m. Nov. 14 in Starkville.

Fans can donate to Special Olympics in honor of the Unified Rebels here.

For more information about the series, visit http://UnifiedEggBowl.org.

Courtesy of Christina Steube and the Ole Miss News Desk

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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