Spring sports ends with state titles

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What a spring it was for local sports in Southeast Missouri.

Last week wrapped with Notre Dame Regional High School's resounding state championship win, 17-0 over Sullivan, ending its fantastic season with an overall record of 28-4. Notre Dame was simply dominant, having beat five of its six postseason opponents by the mercy rule on its way to the title. On top of that, Notre Dame enjoyed a sentimental victory when Derek Hulshof, having recovered from an ACL injury just enough to swing a bat, ended his high school career with a pinch hit in the championship game. What a story.

Earlier this month, Bell City took home a state championship as well, edging out Atlanta 6-3 in extra innings. It was a dramatic win, the first baseball title for the school, and the Cubs pushed their overall record to 25-3. Scott City took second in state, losing a heartbreaker in extra innings 3-2 to Fatima.

Southeast Missouri, known in previous decades as a power region for basketball and volleyball, is gaining credibility for its baseball prowess. The region produces very competitive teams and top-notch players. Congratulations to all.

In soccer, Saxony Lutheran's girls took home a state title with a 5-0 victory over Father Tolton High School. It was the first time the school had advanced out of district play, but Saxony is experiencing a trend in excellent girls athletics. Many of the girls on the team have reached great success in other sports, and, no doubt, many of them have learned how to handle the pressure of higher competition and stakes. Congratulations to the Saxony girls for bringing home the hardware.

Speaking of state titles, it'll take more time to read this editorial than it took Kelly's Maurice Davis to sprint to a state title in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.97 seconds, the only sprinter in his class to break the 11-second barrier.

So, the spring sports season concluded with many athletes going out on top. But there are still more accolades to come.

On July 11, many athletes will be recognized as the best in their sports from all of Southeast Missouri in the second annual Semoball Awards show. The spring sports finalists were unveiled Saturday. The Semoball Awards, a first-class awards show, is presented by SoutheastHEALTH. This year's guest speaker will be Olympic softball champion Jennie Finch.

Once again, congratulations to all those athletes who experienced success this spring. Here's hoping we see you July 11.

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