Decatur and Macon County prep teams and individuals had a very good 2018. Numerous teams and individuals enjoyed huge successes that brought excitement and well-deserved recognition to their fellow teammates, their coaches, their classmates, their fans, and their respective communities around the city, county and state.
I certainly enjoyed chronicling their achievements. 2018 was an especially good one for the Dawgs, as in the St. Teresa Bulldogs, with the numeral three being the key to their respective finishes. Todd Vohland’s St. Teresa girls track and field team placed third in Class 1A, Davis Wegmann’s Bulldogs boys soccer squad placed third, and Brad Dalton’s St. Teresa’s girls volleyball placed third. Wegmann’s soccer achievement is the best ever in the Bulldogs history, and Dalton’s volleyball third place team bettered the school’s previous two fourth place finishes.
Until this year, the St. Teresa boys soccer had not gotten out of the sectionals which rightly accounts for their euphoria after winning the sectional and super-sectional to get to state where they eventually placed third. And Mark Ramsey’s football brethren advanced to the Final Four, bowing out in the semi-finals to Maroa-Forsyth, who finished second in Class 2A for the third consecutive year.
Oh, my, what a year it was for Steve Kirk and his Argenta-Oreana Bombers, who set a school record with their 12 wins and who like the Bulldogs, advanced to the Final Four before bowing out to a very good Camp Point Central in the semi-finals, who went on to finish runnerup in Class 1A to Forreston that won its third state football championship in five years. That’s consistency. By the way, Kirk’s Bombers, Ramsey’s Bulldogs and Jostes’ Trojans lost their only game in either the semi-finals (Final Four) or the state championship.
Above I mentioned the Trojans third consecutive runnerup finish which is their sixth under Jostes to go with their two state championships. Not bad for the coach, who has been on the Trojans sidelines 19 years. So, Jostes and his Trojans have been in the state title game eight of his 19 years, winning two championships in 2006 and 2012 and runnerups in the other six. Maroa-Forsyth has been on the cusp of that (winning their third state championship) for three consecutive seasons and that’s more than consistency, that’s a program that reloads instead of rebuilding. Southeast of Decatur,
Kelly Fox’s Mount Zion’s lady Braves advanced to state in cross-country for the first time since 2011 which was attributable to many individuals, who ran personal bests to get there and succeeded. (More of the year in local sports in this week’s print edition of the Decatur Tribune.)