Boys' cross-country Coach of the Year: Unity's Dike Stirrett

Dike Stirrett, Unity

Why: In his 39th year coaching cross-country and sixth at Unity, guided the Rockets to their third consecutive Class 1A top 10 state-meet finish. Unity placed second, its best finish ever in the sport.

Season highlight: "Second at state was a highlight, but I look at the whole state series as a highlight. We ran so well, and it started at regionals. What impressed me is that we didn't have one bad race all year. Every week, we'd come back and do it again."

A few of my favorite things: George Strait ... Chariots of Fire ... Body N Sole ... Farren's ... Original House of Pancakes ... Honda CRV ... To bicycle from Colorado to Champaign with my son, Nick

About Coach Stirrett: "He is definitely the reason I'm able to run at the level I'm at now. As a freshman, I wasn't the hardest worker, but he got me to push myself and get headed in the right direction. With his values, he helped form me into the person I am. I don't know where I'd be without him. I can't say how much I appreciate all he has done." — senior all-stater Scott Woodard.

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