■ Hemet Unified School District
Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) had its annual Super Kids Bowl on Friday morning Jan. 26. Students with moderate to severe disabilities participated in a safe version of football with the Tahquitz High School football team. Matt Kraemer, principal of Idyllwild School, started this event 14 years ago, and it continues to inspire everyone involved.
Every year, students with moderate to severe disabilities will play a game of football with the support of a local HUSD football team. This year, Tahquitz hosted this amazing event. The Titans offensive players assisted elementary grade students in scoring a touchdown against the defense. While hesitant at first, students couldn’t help but enjoy themselves as the Titans provided them with patience and encouragement to reach the end zone! Students were seen spiking the ball, cheering along with the crowd, and high-fiving the Tahquitz cheerleaders on the sideline.
Students from Cawston Elementary, Little Lake Elementary, Jacob Wiens Elementary, Bautista Creek Elementary, Valle Vista Elementary, Winchester Elementary, and Idyllwild School participated in this year’s event. Kraemer said that the event was a tremendous success. “The Tahquitz students went out of their way to make it a special day for our special needs students.” He continued to say that he is thankful to orchestrate this event each year for the students within Hemet Unified. “My goal is to ensure our special needs students know they are a big part of our educational community and that we value them.”
“I was proud of our students for coming together and hosting the event to ensure everyone was involved, said Tahquitz Principal Eric Dahlstrom. He explained that while the event is for the moderate to severely handicapped students within the district, he was able to see the impact it had on the football players and cheerleaders. He said the most memorable part of the event were the moments in between the snap of the ball and the touchdown, where the student relied heavily on the football players to get to the end zone. “The compassion that continued to be displayed throughout the event was wonderful to see.”
Kraemer had nothing but gratitude for everyone that supported this event: The Associated Student Body (ASB) from Idyllwild School helped their Principal throughout the event; West Valley’s Counselor Tom Windmiller, who helped Mr. Kraemer announce the football plays throughout the event; Tahquitz students and staff that helped make this a memorable day; Emily Hulstrom, a Bautista Creek teacher, Debbi Kraemer, HR Technician; and Idyllwild Rotary’s Tom and Kathy Kluzak for taking pictures; Hemet Unified Print Shop for the T-shirts with the Super Kids Bowl logo; and the Transportation Department for transporting the students to the event.
The weather was beautiful, the field was great, and it all set the stage for yet another wonderful Super Kids Bowl. Thank you to everyone involved this year.