Inaugural KSHSAA Unified Bowling season coming to end
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The first year of KSHSAA sanctioned unified bowling is coming to an end.
Partnered with Special Olympics, the regionals were held at West Acres Bowling Alley Thursday.
Nearly thirty high schools throughout the state of Kansas provided a unified bowling team opportunity for athletes with special needs.
“Yeah, I used to do bowling rarely sometimes but now a days, I’m actually pretty good at bowling,” said Maize South sophomore Alexander Spiegel.
Eisenhower junior Aaron Brandt said, “It’s doing really good. If I had to get a strike, I can get more strikes than usual.”
This inaugural season of unified bowling lasts about six weeks and each bowler with special needs has a partner-classmate. Maize South and Eisenhower high schools are the only schools in the Wichita area with a unified team.
“It’s been an awesome opportunity for the students just coming together and working as a team and competing. The smiles on their faces say it all,” said Maize South assistant coach Brooklyn Sipp.
“My favorite memory is helping with people make a strike, get some spares, showing everything we’ve got,” said Eisenhower senior Brody May. “Making everyone proud.”
“It’s been fantastic, so much fun,” said Eisenhower co-coach Brian Adelgren. “It gives us a whole different perspective on sports and inclusion. It’s a fantastic opportunity for these kids.”
Bowlers said they’ve had the most fun making new friends in their first year on these unified teams.
“I think my favorite memory is the one time after we finished the whole game, we went up to the bar to have a little party, eating. Hang out there and just eat pizza. Having fun with my friends,” said Spiegel as he reminisced.
“When we get strikes, when we dance around,” said Eisenhower freshman Hayleigh Tong.
Brandt mentioned, “Being on this team is to be competitive and good reputation and a good team player.”
“It’s incredible in not only the physical ability but the comradery and the tightness as a team. And the confidence as individuals,” said Adelgren.
Sipp mentioned, “They take so much pride in their hard work and their effort, they’re always so excited to cheer each other on.”
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