Flag Football Hustles and Makes History

TEAM SPIRIT: The team listens to Coach Royal’s advice during the time out. The team conferred and planned out the next few plays during this time, and simultaneously cheered each other on.  “The kids worked really hard for this,” said Coach Royal.

September 29, 2018 is a day that will go down in West Side history. On the cool and cloudy fall afternoon, people gathered with excitement to see the Best Buddies club participate in its first ever IHSAA-approved Unified Flag Football game. “I’m the president of Best Buddies, and I’m so excited to be here and support our team,” said senior Krishna Patel.

As this was the first year that this type of event had ever been held, many found this game to be a step in the right direction. “I think it’s really interesting that everyone has come together to support the unified team. So I think that this and its impact is really great,” said Ramisha Iqbal, 10. “I also want more people and supporters to come out.”

The game was against Zionsville, and while there was a competitive spirit in the air, both teams were excited to be playing. “That’s the best part of unified sports, just bringing two different sets of kids together- not only West Side and Zionsville, but also different parts of West Side together and having fun. That is the whole point of today,” said head coach Ali Royal. “Bringing champions together, which is another section of Unified and Flag football like here, and actually being allowed to use the high school football field is absolutely wonderful. That kind of stuff really makes our kids happy.”

While Zionsville won the game, everyone involved enjoyed the experience. After the game, Phillip Woeste, 12, agreed. “I mean, we gave it our all. That’s really all I can say. It went well. I certainly had fun, and would probably like to see it again in the future,” he said. “I saw how hard Best Buddies worked,” said Patel. “Next time, I want to see West Side win.”

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