SVM Sports Staff remembers 2012
You've just read the sports editors thoughts on 2012. What do other people have to say? Well, the other four members of the SVM sports staff took the time to right down their favorite local sports memory from 2012.
I think my top game/event that I took in this past year would have been the Bureau Valley freshmen taking state by storm at girls state track.
Lindsey Hoffert took second in the long jump and ninth in the 400, while Regan Weidner was third in the 3,200, ninth in the 1,600 and 10th in the 3,200 relay, running 3 1/2 miles in all on a hot day in Charleston.
The event I'll remember most fondly is the state cross country meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria. What's better than a sports championship in which the lion's share of the competitors perform better than they ever have before?
This year was no exception. I felt fortunate to chat with all our local athletes, particularly Regan Weidner after she finished second in the 1A girls race.
Oh, and I got a killer workout, too.
Iowa vs. NIU at Soldier Field. Not only was it cool to watch my alma mater (Iowa) from the press box, but seeing Sterling grad Tyler Loos start at left tackle for the whole game was a pleasant surprise as well – and his always-thoughtful interview afterward in the bowels of Soldier Field was a good time, too.
While not the most exciting game all the way through, it did come down to the last few minutes. The nail-biting finish saw the Hawkeyes score the go-ahead TD on a 23-yard run with 2:15 remaining, then stoppehe Huskies on fourth down with 1:18 to play.
Who knew at the time that it would be the lone loss for NIU and arguably the high point of the season for Iowa?
I've covered the state wrestling tournament about 20 times since getting into this business in 1988, but haven't quite encountered a night like the 2012 state wrestling finals.
Usually about two, or perhaps three, local wrestlers qualify for the championship bouts, but this particular year, there were six. Five of them (Maxx Hubbard, Brian Bahrs and R.J. Troye of Newman and twins Mark and Matt McDonnell of Morrison) won titles, while the Comets' Garrett Webb placed second.
All of the bouts were from 120 pounds (Webb) to 195 pounds (Matt McDonnell), which often left me scrambling to talk to not only the winners of the bouts, but also the losers, while also trying to keep score for bouts that may have already started.
Somehow it all came together, and with some awesome pictures from photo editor Alex T. Paschal, the Monday sports section turned out great, and several complimentary e-mails that followed backed up that point.
I could have turned out the lights on Assembly Hall after leaving at about 2 a.m., but it was all worth it.