Jazzmen “Jazzy” Bishop is a born dancer, and that didn't change when she was competing at the 2022 State Flag Football Tournament as a member of the Harpeth Unified Too Team from Cheatham County.
“In the hotel, she gets up and dances in front of anybody to the music in front of the elevator," said Unified Partner Calli Copeland. "When she’s in the elevator, she’s dancing for the entire lobby given that the elevator is completely see-through."
Regardless of how many people are around, Bishop’s personality shines through. That very personality is apparent on the football field as well. The dancing doesn’t stop, any time she’s on the sideline she is seen dancing or nodding along to the music played over the speaker.
Copeland and Bishop tag team celebrations when touchdowns happen. They both hold their arms up in the shape of the touchdown signal and yell “TOUCHDOWN!” at maximum volume. Bishop is a massive supporter and helps calm the nerves of the head coach by offering a hug during stressful times. Hugs aren’t limited just to her team, as Bishop also offers hugs after the play to opposing players.
Bishop played on both offense and defense during the tournament and enjoyed having the opportunity to run the ball. On defense, she was determined to find the ball carrier and put them to a stop. Everyone on the Harpeth Unified Too team was encouraging one another and full of motivation. This motivation carried them to having success on the field as they marched down the field on offense and denied the opposite team on defense.
Copeland has been a partner for years and thrives being involved with the athletes. When the crowd erupted for another success, Copeland was heard shouting in celebration of the athlete scoring.
“I've been participating since age six, and I have been playing for the past seven to eight years," said Copeland. "Teamwork helps on the field because a lot of us have been in the organization for a lot of years. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by Special Olympics and enjoy everything about it. We focus more so on bonding and having fun rather than putting up the most points. The fun we have is more important than any scoreboard.”
Copeland and Bishop have known each other for a while and have enjoyed bonding through sports and have a relationship that goes past the field of play. Copeland agreed when it was pointed out that Bishop’s personality was “larger than life” and how positively influencing her joy is. Bishop has been playing for two years and said “it’s absolutely great“ when referring to being involved with Special Olympics Tennessee. This pair will continue to compete while remembering the words that they keep at the forefront of every event, “have fun no matter what."