Several area prep teams made their home communities proud last weekend.
Congratulations to area prep teams for some great showings in state competitions last weekend, bringing home a state championship and three second-place finishes.
St. Thomas More's boys' cross-country team reached the pinnacle, capturing the Class 1A state title at Detweiler Park in Peoria and achieving the goal set for them by coach Dave Behm, who said after the race that, "The first day, at our first practice, I said, 'I want to win a state championship.'"
The final games of the season didn't turn out as well for the Monticello girls' cross-country team in Class 1A or the boys' soccer teams at Urbana High School in Class 2A and University High School in Class 1A.
But with the passage of time, the sting of defeat in their state championship appearances will wear off, and team members will realize what great runs they made and what great experiences they enjoyed.
Only one team in each division gets to be crowned state champion, but just getting to compete for the championship is a huge accomplishment, and players and coaches on all three teams have much of which to be proud. There's no doubt it was disappointing to be that close and fall short. But there were many moments of triumph along the way.
While the Urbana football team did not make it to the championship game, its spectacular season also deserves congratulations. The Tigers were ousted from the playoffs Saturday, but their win in the first round was the school's first postseason triumph.
All things considered, it was a remarkable and memorable journey for these teams that will remain a source of pride for years to come.