Team of the Week: Northwest High School Unified Bowling Team
In bowling the foul line sits 60 feet from the pins.
The lane makes everyone equal.
Northwest High School proves it Monday by winning the state's first ever Unified Bowling Title.
Players with and without disabilities each do their part at the line.
“Some of the kids, they didn't think they were going to be in a sport at all when they were in high school. So now they get to be in a sport, and like this, they get to win a championship and get all the recognition for it now,” said Nikki Bradley, Northwest Unified Bowling head coach.
There's a lot more to this state championship than trophies.
A sport about knocking things down is helping students prop each other up.
“I don't know. Like, I guess, I get some more time to hang out with my friends, and it is sort of a small group so I get to know people a bit better. I just do better when I'm with, like, a small group. I can, like, remember people easier,” said Jacob Mueller, a junior and bowler at Northwest.
"Seeing all the smiles on their faces when they were bowling they got strikes or something, how happy they were about it, and I feel like they just had a blast, and they should do more sports like this," shared Shalee Bradley, a sophomore and bowler at Northwest.
Their coach said, “You see a lot of them, and you see that they are really excited about being where they are now, and you could tell that when you were at the state championship.”
The disabled bowlers participate in federation league - the Nebraska high school standard bowling offering.
But they don't get many frames at the federation's state tournament, making Monday's title all the sweeter.
“You could tell they were nervous because some of their faces were turning red. Their hands were shaking. I was like, guys calm down,” said Bradley.
Elation from a group of kids who live in a world of labels.
But let's be honest, labels are overrated. Except the one that came on Northwest's trophy Monday: champions.