Last school year, the first-ever CHSAA-sanctioned state uniform bowling championship was a historic event that set the stage for the future of the sport at the Colorado high school level.
The Pueblo East Eagles scored a total of 431 pins in the AMF Belleview Lanes to fend off district rivals Pueblo Central and claim Colorado’s first team title. Regardless of which team went home with a trophy in hand, the coronation of a Unified Bowling champion was a defining moment for Unified Bowling in Colorado.
But now that the standard has been set, that standard bearer is Pueblo East. And the Eagles are now entering the 2021 campaign poised to defend their reputation as the only program to ever win a uniform bowling title in Colorado.
“We were really looking forward to the win and the whole team was happy,” said Kyle Meyer from Pueblo East. “We are looking forward to this season and hope that it will be the same.”
As interest grows and each contestant gets into the 2021 season more experienced than before, Pueblo East head coach Chuck Blagg expects to see each season becoming increasingly competitive after the last. If the Eagles are due to defend their team title at AMF Belleview Lanes in November, Blagg believes the reigning champions have their jobs to do.
“Only in our area (Pueblo) Central and (Pueblo) South are they all pretty good,” said Blagg. “It should be pretty competitive. It’ll be fun because we’re all cheering each other on even though we’re playing against each other. It’s pretty competitive, but also very encouraging at the same time. It is great.
“When you watch them compete, you have a pretty big group down there and it’s an exciting atmosphere and we’re looking forward to this year’s national tournament.”
Competition and community are the issues when it comes to unified bowling, and these principles continue to be emphasized as more schools adopt unified bowling programs.
“We are so excited that Unified Bowling is taking place in its second CHSAA-sanctioned season,” said CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Jenn Roberts-Uhlig. “It was such a great experience and opportunity for our students last year, and it’s even more exciting to have additional programs this year.”