“Top Dawg” bowls a gold medal


Martha Casarez

Senior Noah Casarez wins a gold medal at the Special Olympics Bowling Tournament.

Azul Lin, Reporter

Last month, senior Noah Casarez, dubbed “Top Dawg” for his phenomenal bowling, scored a gold medal in the Special Olympics Bowling Tournament at area with a score of 137. Bowling is a branch of Special Olympics, which is an organization for disabled people of all ages to participate in sports.

“Special Olympics is all disabled, they either have to be intellectually disabled, [or] they have to be physically disabled,” Martha Casarez, his mother, said. “It’s solely an opportunity to get to participate in some type of sport when they would not routinely get to do it in their school setting, out in the public, and in select teams.”

One section in Special Olympics Bowling is Unified Bowling, where volunteers of all age groups can bowl with specially developing people. There are two typically developing peers on his team, and two disabled peers on his team.

“I think it’s a great way for [Noah] to go and meet new people and make new friends,” Brittany Moreno, his Life Skills teacher, said. “[The students participating] are going to follow each other and build those friendships along the way, and a lot of them have been doing it for so long together that they’ll end up making lifelong friendships from it.”

Noah consistently attends strict bowling practices, which do not allow players to miss practice. However, rather than seeing this as inconvenient, he is always eager to attend all of the practices, even with the two hour long commute.

“He is very competitive and he’s very athletic and loves to do all of the different sports and competitions.” Brittany Moreno, his Life Skills teacher, said. “I feel like that’s what he would enjoy the most, just letting his athleticism and his competitiveness shine.”

Noah takes pride in the medals he earns from bowling well in tournaments. He often spreads all of his medals out and reviews his achievements over time.

“I feel honored,” Noah said. “I make my family and friends and teachers happy, and [they] talk to me.”

Noah has been bowling for around six years, and goes to a committed practice every Sunday. His Unified Bowling team also practices over the summer.

“It’s fun, and it matters what numbers you have,” Noah said. “People can be impressed by the way you play.”

Along with bowling consistently as a hobby every week, Noah has other hobbies that he spends time on when he has completed all of his schoolwork in class.

“He’s a fantastic writer,” Moreno said. “He is great with writing, I love listening to his writing. He has such a wonderful imagination, he’s very descriptive with his writing.”