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The region of champions

Sauk Valley residents can boast of two state championship teams in spring high school sports. Congratulations to Milledgeville girls softball and Newman boys track, and good luck at state to the Sterling girls softball team.

Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better, and your better is best.”

That quote, attributed to various sources, sums up the philosophy of champions.

On the high school sports level, we witnessed its personification twice this spring.

First, the Newman High School boys track team captured the IHSA Class 1A team title in the state boys track and field meet in Charleston on May 25.

One week later, the Milledgeville girls softball team hoisted the IHSA Class 1A state championship trophy at a soggy ball diamond in East Peoria.

Newman, buoyed by a strong squad of sprinters, accumulated 41 team points to top second-place Monmouth-Roseville by 10.

Milledgeville defeated Cumberland, 5-4, in a game that Milledgeville led after five innings. Then the rains came, delaying the game 5 hours before the IHSA decided to call off further play and crown the Missiles state champs.

Newman has now won eight state titles in team athletic play, while Milledgeville’s state title trophy is its first.

Athletes from both squads did not become state champions by accident. They worked hard, honed their skills, and fearlessly competed against the best the state had to offer.

And they won.

Along the way, they learned what it means to set goals and achieve them. They learned how to function together as a team to accomplish great things. Those lessons are valuable. We hope they will draw upon them in their future endeavors.

For our region, the winning might not be over just yet.

The Sterling girls softball team defeated Wauconda, 3-1, Monday to capture the Class 3A Elgin Supersectional plaque. Sterling thus secured a berth in the state tournament’s final four. The girls will play next on Friday in East Peoria.

Sterling made it to the supersectional in a magical way, by scoring 5 runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat powerhouse Marengo, 6-5, at the Rochelle Sectional.

We congratulate Newman and Milledgeville on their stellar championship seasons.

And we wish, not good or better, but the best of luck to Sterling at state.

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