On Saturday evening the ALAH boys cross country team was recognized at a community reception held at the high school. Pictured here with the hardware they earned at numerous meets this season are: Jesus Corona, Jacob Adcock, Logan Beckmier, Jace Green, Jacob Duzan and Lyle Adcock.
By SALLY McCARTHY
The Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond boys cross country team made history Saturday, first in the morning by being the first team to start the I.H.S.A. State Class 1A meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria and made more by bringing home the Runner Up trophy from that meet.
The second place team title is the highest trophy earned by any sport at the school.
The recognition ceremony was held at the high school on Saturday evening and Athletic Director Nathan Seal opened with this introduction. “Welcome to a very special occasion. Tonight we get the opportunity to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our boys cross country team. These young men accomplished things this fall that have never been done before at ALAH. They won numerous meets throughout the season, were Regional and Sectional champions for the second straight year, and finished in second place at the state meet this morning.
They also created a lot of excitement in our school and communities. What an amazing season and what a fun experience this has been! All of the accomplishments are something we are all very proud of. The state trophy, the regional and sectional plaques, the medals, and the updates on the gym banner will all help us to remember this season for years to come. Tonight, I think it is important to not only recognize what this team has achieved, but also the process of how this team got here. As I mentioned on Thursday in front of the student body, the accomplishments of this group of young men didn’t just happen. They happened because of a collective commitment to hard work and the grit of these young men. Two years ago I doubt too many people would have expected that ALAH would be a state powerhouse in cross country. This didn’t just happen because we hoped it would. It happened because these young men sitting before you tonight and our cross country alumni were willing to log many miles in the summer and endure hard workouts during the season. It happened because they held each other accountable. It happened because they had a coach that had a vision and a passion to push these young men to achieve. For those who have been watching, these accomplishments aren’t a surprise. You could see this powerhouse in the making because of their work and dedication. Seniors, you have been instrumental in the building of this elite program. Job well done. Underclassmen, there is no doubt in my mind that you will take the reins and continue the excellence of your cross country program. Thank you for representing our school and our communities in such a positive way this season and congratulations on all you have accomplished!”
Mr. Seal then introduced cross country Coach Lyle Dorjahn. Coach introduced each member of the team, Jace Green, Logan Beckmier, Jacob Duzan, Lyle Adcock, Jacob Adcock, Emma Edwards, Connor Edmonds, Caden Binder, Steven Edwards, Jesus Corona, Maddie Kingery, Lyndsay Rohacs, and Kayla Johnson and talked about each of them. He spoke of the Effingham Sectional two years ago and the disappointment of their sixth place finish that had them just miss making state, but that’s what fueled their fire for the successes of the last two season.
He closed by thanking everyone for their support.
Mr. Seal closed the ceremony with thanks yous to all the communities, police and fire departments, athletic boosters, maintenance staff, administrators, faculty, school board members, parents, coaches and athletes. He thanked everyone for coming and invited them to enjoy the refreshments and meet the athletes.