Save for one team, the fall sports season is done for the area.
The last team standing is Union Wildcats football, which shocked John Burroughs for the Class 4 District 2 championship Saturday.
I saw Burroughs play the week before against Pacific, and it appeared to be a very complete team. Union pulled quite a coup in sending the Bombers home.
Few who looked at the end of the third quarter last week, with Union trailing at home, 20-7, against Sullivan, would have expected this outcome.
Fewer still who also saw John Burroughs leading Pacific, 35-0, after three quarters. Union and Pacific played to a 41-40 shootout earlier in the season.
That’s why these games aren’t decided on paper. You still have to go out on the field and prove who the better team is.
Saturday, it was Union. Decisively.
If one is inclined to superstitions, Union was the lone area team remaining to avoid playing on Friday the 13th this week.
Washington, St. Clair and St. Francis Borgia Regional are each putting away their pads for another fall this week, after lasting until the district championship round.
St. Clair completed just the second undefeated season in program history, one year after doing it for the first time in 2019.
In 52 seasons of the program, those kids achieved something nobody in the program who came before them could. Many of them did it twice, playing in both years.
As for Washington, the 0-10 2017 season feels like a lifetime ago now after back-to-back 9-2 seasons.
Perennial Class 5 powerhouse Ft. Zumwalt North was the only obstacle in the regular season preventing the Blue Jays from matching St. Clair’s unbeaten regular season record the past two seasons.
This class of Washington seniors saw both ends of the spectrum. They worked through the low times and laid the groundwork for the success they saw the last two years.
Borgia had so many changes to the schedule thrown at them from week to week, sometimes not knowing who the next opponent was going to be a week in advance. The Knights persevered through it all to end up 7-4.
The teams that ended the season for Washington and Borgia are both state-ranked. Battle is the No. 4 team in Class 5 and Lutheran North is the No. 1 team in Class 3.
Cardinal Ritter, which defeated St. Clair, is a juggernaut in its own right, despite playing a ridiculously tough three-game regular season schedule after getting a late start, first playing in Week 7.
All of that is just what happened on the gridiron.
The Sullivan Lady Eagles softball program won its first state championship after years of getting close.
Borgia Lady Knights volleyball moved all the way up to the top weight class and proved they can hold their own with the biggest programs in the state by making it to the Class 5 state tournament.
New Haven Lady Shamrocks volleyball played their best at the right time and made it back to the state tournament for the first time since 2017, earning sweeps in both rounds of the district tournament and in the state quarterfinals.
Washington senior Mason Kauffeld earned the first two state medals in the history of the school’s boys swimming program.
New Haven cross country senior Emma McIntyre won the fourth state medal of her career. Washington senior Mia Reed and Fulton School (St. Albans) senior Jace Cavness each won their third.
While each of their high school careers were ending, Fulton School freshman Katherine Doyle’s was just getting started as she also reached the medal stand.
Pacific boys cross country claimed a district title for the second year in a row.
Washington Lady Jays softball captivated during a school record 18-game winning streak.
St. Clair Lady Bulldogs volleyball expanded on the success of a 28-win season in 2019 by winning the first Four Rivers Conference title in program history.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 struck at the worst possible time and cost St. Clair the chance to play at full strength in the district tournament.
At least the Lady Bulldogs still got to take the court for the tournament though. Borgia softball was not so fortunate as quarantines forced the team to withdraw from its district tournament entirely.
More trials and tribulations from COVID-19 can be expected as the winter seasons officially begin at the end of this week.
However, let’s hope that the disruptions are minimal and that we can all remain as safe as possible.