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Unified Bowling team strikes their way to victory

Quintin Mckenzie, an eighth grader, is one of many students that has a dream of being a great athlete but he is restricted because he is a unified athlete. Quintin is apart of the BCHS unified bowling team, he is the only unified bowler the team has.

Unified bowling is when a bowler from the boys or girls team is partnered with a bowler with special needs. Mckenzie bowled doubles with his partner Carter West, a senior bowler for the boys team, and competed in the regional competition.

The team placed second at the regional tournament in Paducah on Jan. 26 and advanced to the state tournament in Louisville on Feb 7.

This was the second year the team made it to the state tournament. The team placed 7th out of 16.

Quintin isn’t only known for how good of a bowler he is but what atmosphere he creates on the team.

“Bowling with Quintin is really fun and even though it is technically a competition”, West said, “It doesn’t feel like it because everybody is just having a good time which is awesome.”

The two boys have grown really close over the two years. Quintin mentioned his favorite part of bowling is bowling with Carter. Since Carter is a senior he will no longer be on the team after this year.

“It feels good but it won’t be the same again without Carter,” Quintin said, discussing what next year will be like if he wins regionals.

Practicing is a very big part of sports but doesn’t always make a player better, but if they practice on what they need to they can become better. If both keep up with practicing they will become very successful. Many people are proud about how much they have came.

“I am very proud of them because they placed first seat in regions but finished in second place overall which shows that there is improvement needed,” Coach Eddie Endicott said.

“I think that when you practice hard and you work hard good things can happen and here’s a result of that,” Kadyn Hargis, eighth grader, said.

“The team needs to improve on isolating themselves and focusing on their own game instead of what our opponent is doing as well as keeping our nerves in check,” West said. “We should keep up the team support and cheering for each other, on top of being good sportsmen.”

 

While discussing on what needed to be improved Quintin said the reasons why the team had gotten so far and improved so much, he talked about how thankful he was to have so much support in his life.

Quintin said he was thankful for “all the hard work that the parents do for the team and the coaches.”

Success is normally led by support and teamwork, although the boys didn’t place high in state, they worked together and showed their Trojan Pride.

  • Quintin is one of the many bowlers who originated from Mrs. Emerson’s after school bowling program.
  • Carter has bowled for 6 years on the team and Quintin has bowled for 2 years on the team.
  • Quintin is the heart of the team and always has a smile.
  • This will be the second year in a row that the unified team has advanced to state.

What are your feelings toward the unified bowling team getting second place and advancing to state for the second year?

Eddie: “I am very proud of them because they placed first seat in regions but finished in second place overall which shows that there is improvement needed.”

Carter: “It’s really cool because it used to be just first place only gets to go to state. Now, even if we mess up one game, we still get to go, which is awesome because Quintin has really been looking forward to state since we went last year.”

What do you think the team needs to improve on and what do you think the team needs to keep up with?

Eddie: “They need to improve on their ball speed and hitting their mark consistently.”

Carter: “The team needs to improve on isolating themselves and focusing on their own game instead of what our opponent is doing as well as keeping our nerves in check. We should keep up the team support and cheering for each other, on top of being good sportsmen.”

How do you think the team will do at state?

Eddie: “If they control their ball speed and hit their marks they can go all the way.”

Carter: “If the girls come together like they did at regionals, they will be a very hard team to beat and for unified, I guess we’ll have to see but we have a strong team.”

What is your favorite part about being a part of the unified team?

Carter: “Bowling with Quintin is really fun and even though it is technically a competition, it doesn’t feel like it because everybody is just having a good time, which is awesome.”