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Team Kentucky recently won first place in the 2019 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) National Special Olympics Unified Partner Bowling Championships at South Point Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pictured from left: Ronnie England, unified partner of Special Olympic athlete Bryan Cheely, and Michael Ghant, unified partner of Special Olympic athlete Steve Pankey.


The Barren County Special Olympics program is pleased to announce the results from the 2019 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) National Special Olympics Unified Partner Bowling Championships.

From Barren County, Bryan Cheely – Special Olympic athlete – and his Unified Partner, Ronnie England, combined with Steve Pankey – Special Olympic athlete from Stewart Home School – and his Unified Partner, Michael Ghant, to form Team Kentucky.

On March 6, these four bowlers took first place and received gold medals after bowling the highest three-game series of the 114 teams bowling at this event. It was a close competition with Team Nebraska, but the Kentucky bowlers pulled out the victory in the third game. Cheely had a terrific day, bowling 80 pins over his average for the three-game series.

Cheely and England combined in the doubles event on March 7, bowling against teams from Indiana, Maryland, Arizona, Texas and Alabama – they took fourth place, missing the medal round by 21 pins.

Both Cheely and England bowled over their average for the three-game series, but ran up against a couple of teams that were simply on fire. It was a good competition with third place being decided in the final frame of the third game. The Arizona team put together an amazing final frame to pull out the third-place finish.

Team Indiana finished in first place in the doubles event, followed by Maryland (second place), Arizona (third), Kentucky (fourth), Alabama (fifth) and Texas (sixth).

The Championship was held at South Point Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. There were 114 teams of four bowlers competing in the Team Championship and 220 teams of two bowlers in the Doubles Championship.

It was an exciting event with great sportsmanship and friendship shown by all the participants. The bowlers from Team Kentucky were selected by Special Olympics Kentucky to represent the organization in this tournament.

Special Olympics would truly like to thank England for his selfless giving to this event and the program. He sacrificed his time and committed to participate with Cheely. England is a true Barren County Flame.

Unified Partner is where a Special Olympic athlete combines to bowl with a traditional partner. Unified Sports are reach out events for Special Olympics to incorporate its sports programs into the community. They are currently offered in golf, bowling, basketball, volleyball, softball, track and field, tennis and bocce.

Barren County Special Olympics is pleased to have a presence in Unified Bowling and Golf, and the organization will be broadening its options in the coming seasons.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact James Cheely at 270-590-9013.