WAYNE – As fall sports are coming to a close and winter sports will be starting up, an in-between season of a NSAA sanctioned sport is Unified Bowling and schools are one competition into their season already.
54 schools in Nebraska started practicing on Monday, October 16 before several had their season open this past weekend on Saturday, October 28.
Wayne Community Schools is one of those programs who is now in their second year of having Unified Bowling offered to students. There are 13 members broken down to three teams with one “athlete” who is a student that has a significant cognitive disability and two partners who are anyone else.
Last year, the majority of the “partners” were seniors and graduated as only one was a returner for the “athletes” Kayla Varley is the head coach of Wayne Unified Bowling and talked about the members of the team.
“One of our athletes is Jess Gibson (junior), another athlete is Olaf Jurotich (sophomore) and then another athlete is Josh Turner (sophomore),” said Varley. “Then we have 10 partners which are students throughout the rest of Wayne High School that come in and join in on them bowling.”
Other “partner” students are senior Jamie Gamble (returner), senior Austin Fernau, junior Mersadies Buderus; sophomore Maddie Beair, sophomore Josh Lutt, freshman Natalie Bentjen; freshman Carter Fernau, freshman Juan Hernandez, freshman Andi Belt and freshman Ruben Vega.
The team practices Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays during the students study hall and the group gets one to two games in before students have to go back to class.
Wayne is still working on the basics of getting the ball down the lane.
“Figuring out different lanes and different oil patterns,” Varley added. “Right now we’re still working on finding the right balls that’s the right weight for all the students.”
During Unified Bowling, each team bowls six baker games and at the end of the last game the total pinfall throughout all six games results in the team score.
Wayne recently competed in a triangular along with Bancroft-Rosalie and West Point-Beemer from Wildcat Lanes in Wayne this past Saturday. The team of Josh Turner, Andi Belt and Carter Fernau recorded a total pinfall of 663 for second place while the team of Jess Gibson, Mersadies Buderus and Josh Lutt took fourth (624 pinfall). The third team of Olaf Jurotich, Natalie Bentjen and Ruben Vega recorded a total pinfall of 418 while West Point-Beemer was the winning team with 691 pins.
Varley mentioned it was great to see the way that the school came together and everyone could interact.
“Even after Unified Bowling was done last year you could see the connections that they still had in the hallway with all the other students,” Varley mentioned. “So, it really was a positive effect both during the bowling season and then outside of the season.”
Wayne High will next compete in the Unified Bowling Meet held at Kings Lanes in Norfolk this Saturday, November 4 at 10 a.m. Other competition for Wayne includes a home meet on Saturday, November 11 (10 a.m.); road game in Norfolk on Tuesday, November 14 (2 p.m.); road meet in Norfolk on Saturday, November 18 (10 a.m.) and a road game at South Sioux City on Monday, November 20 (2 p.m.).
Wayne will take part in District 4 competition on Tuesday, November 28 from Kings Lanes in Norfolk starting at 11 a.m. District teams are Bancroft-Rosalie, Norfolk, Osmond, South Sioux City, Wayne and West Point-Beemer. State Unified Bowling is scheduled for Monday, December 4.
Alliance; Bancroft-Rosalie; Bellevue East; Bellevue West; Bennington; Blair; Cambridge; Central Valley; Elkhorn; Elkhorn South; Elmwood-Murdock; Fremont; Gordon-Rushville; Grand Island; Gretna; High Plains Community; Johnson County Central; Lexington; Lincoln East; Lincoln High; Lincoln North Star; Lincoln Northeast; Lincoln Southeast; Lincoln Southwest; Malcolm; McCook; Millard North; Millard South; Millard West; Nebraska Lutheran; Norfolk; North Bend Central; North Platte; Northwest; Omaha Benson; Omaha Bryan; Omaha Central; Omaha North; Omaha Northwest; Omaha South; Omaha Westside; Osmond; Papillion-La Vista; Papillion-La Vista South; Ralston; Scottsbluff; Shelby-Rising City; South Platte; South Sioux City; Wahoo; Wayne; West Point-Beemer; Wilber-Clatonia and York