Building relationships between students on the playing field

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In what may look like an ordinary soccer game to anyone else is really a partnership that is building between two different kinds of students.

General education and special education students are teaming up at the Clovis North Unified Soccer Invitational.

"It is all-inclusive. They are friends they build their relationships on the field which will lead them to the school campus. And then they have that friendship that they build on the field that will now be in their classroom," Mike Preciado, Special Olympics Northern California.

This is the third year for the invitational in the Central Valley. Ten high schools from Sanger, Fresno, Central and Clovis Unified are participating this year.

Brock and Chris from Clovis North High School jumped at the chance to join their school's team.

"It just really brings everyone together and you get to make new friends and in life, it is a good social experience. You learn from the past and get to make a new friend for the future," said Brock Goerlich, Clovis North High School Student.

"You see a bunch of people out here for this tournament and it is just insane that it has brought out the heart in all of us and we are proud of each other for that," Chris Rij, Clovis North High School Student.

Chris is the goalie for Clovis North during this tournament and he earned the nickname "The Wall" Friday morning because no one was about get anything by him in the first round of the tournament.

"He blocks everything! Anything and everything!" said Goerlich.

Organizers expect the invitational to expand next year since more schools and districts across the Central Valley are asking to team up for the unique experience.
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