Senior Spotlight: Unified sports partners create special bond

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Unified sports bring people with and without disabilities together to compete with a common goal of inclusiveness.

Joey Drwal and Sophie Hill high-five after racing each other at the track at Millard West High School in Omaha on Wednesday, 4/8/20. (Rex Smith)

For the last few years, it has been a staple at Millard West and one of the standouts has been Joey Drwal.

In his senior season, he's been competing with his friend Sophie Hill, also a senior at Millard West.

“Sophie is a amazing girl to work with, and she’s a really good helper,” Drwal said.

They've done bowling and soccer together, and they were looking forward to unified track this year because it's the first year it would've been an NSAA sanctioned sport instead of just an exhibition.

Since they can't compete in track, the pair is applying to speak at their graduation together.

"When we were just freshman, that was the first year we started unified sports at our school," Hill said. "So, I think it shows in that four years just how far we’ve come – that we have people who want to give a unified speech together and really show what it means to choose to include for our school.”

They are the best of friends, but also competitive. They laugh when they are around each other and truly enjoy each other's company.

"“He’s seriously one of my closest friends that I know I can always go to and be uplifted by him. He’s taught me what it means to be joyful and to live in the moment and live every day and be happy, and I just, I love him dearly," Hill said.

She'll be headed to Lincoln to attend Nebraska in the fall where she'll continue to compete in unified sports while maintaining her everlasting friendship with Joey.