The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School


The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School


The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School


Unified Bowling Strikes Again



BVN’s Unified Bowling Team recently placed sixth in the state competition, ending 30 points behind the first place team’s score. 

 KSHSAA added unified bowling three years ago to create an environment where all students can participate. Teams for unified bowling consist of two athletes (Students with a recognized intellectual disability) and one partner (students with no disabilities). During competition the athletes and partner alternate who bowls what frame, making it more of a team sport than men’s and women’s bowling. 

Erin Nathan has been coaching the Mustangs unified team since it started. Erin is proud of the size of the team, and how many athletes get to participate in a sport at their high school.

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 “Right now we have 25 members on the team, which is the largest in all of the districts,” Erin said.

 In Kansas, there are 48 teams involved in Unified Bowling, and BVN’s 25 tops them all. Erin is also the coach of the men’s and women’s bowling teams at BVN. 

“The great thing about unified bowling is the team aspect, it is more of a team-building activity, and we are all so encouraging of each other,” Erin said.  

The team aspect of alternating students makes Unified Bowling a team sport and not an individual. Erin Nathan’s son Eli Nathan, a sophomore at BVN, is on the team.

“I enjoy the team aspect a ton,” Eli said. “I’m on the men’s bowling team and I miss having a team of people to bowl with, it makes you feel so connected to the others.” 

Eli has led the Mustangs as a partner on the BVN’s top team this year. The top team represented the school in both regional bowling and the State championship. Ahead of the state competition, the Mustangs were undefeated. 

“We were the number one team in almost every meet due to our high scores, so that has been a lot of fun,” Eli said. 

BVN athletics has a tradition of “sending off” a team when they are going to a state competition. This send-off consists of the team parading through the halls while the marching band plays the fight song behind them.

 “It was really cool getting a send-off and I’m glad that the athletes were a part of it,” Eli said. “For the athletes, it’s probably one of the first times they get to walk through the hall with the band, and they get to see all of their friends, praising them and cheering for them.” 

The fun for the Mustangs did not stop there. The team made the drive to West Ridge Lanes in Topeka, Kan.

 “It may have been the best we bowled,” Eli said. “The best part for me was getting to see the athletes out there, having fun, loving what they were doing and jumping up and down with them.” 

Although they weren’t able to claim first place, Eli said the team created stronger bonds through the event. 

“It was super close at the end, and we bowled really well but most importantly lots of friendships have been made, and we got to include everybody in such a fun sport,” Eli said.

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About the Contributor
Jack Hancock
Jack Hancock, Staff Writer
Jack Hancock is a senior and staff writer for “The North Star.” This is their first year on staff. They have covered Mustang athletics, Student life and news around the district. Outside of the newsroom, they enjoy announcing for Mustang athletics, singing in choir and announcing for Rockhurst University. They are excited to grow as a journalist and get to know the rest of the news staff.   

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