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2013-14 a banner year for Sycamore athletics

MOLINE – The Sycamore baseball team’s 10-0 loss Monday to Metamora at the Class 3A Augustana College Super-Sectional not only ended the Spartans’ baseball season.

It concluded what ended up being one heck of a year for Sycamore High athletics in general.

Everything started during the fall, when the Spartans’ football team went undefeated in the regular season, won the Northern Illinois Big 12 East and made it all the way to the IHSA Class 5A semifinals.

The success continued with boys basketball, with Sycamore making it to its first sectional final and nearly upsetting Rockford Lutheran, who ended up finishing fourth in Class 3A.

Baseball was no different.

The Spartans overcame some late-season struggles to win their first sectional championship in school history.

“The senior class did a great job athletically across the board, baseball was no exception,” Sycamore baseball coach Jason Cavanaugh said after the Spartans’ loss to Metamora. “All of our sports made it to games that no teams have ever gotten to in Sycamore history. Our football team plays in the semifinal, basketball team plays in the sectional championship, we play in the super-sectional.

“I’m proud of every one of those guys, they did a great job getting here. They made it a fun year for us.”

Not to mention, the boys track and field team took sixth in Class 2A, and the bowling team won a sectional title. On the girls side, the Spartans’ basketball team took home its first regional championship since 2003, while the volleyball team made a sectional final appearance.

Mark Skelley attended Galesburg his freshman year and East Aurora as a sophomore before transferring to Sycamore for his last two years. A member of the Spartans’ basketball and baseball teams, Skelley won a total of four regional championships and one sectional in just two years as a Sycamore student.

“It was the best experience I have ever had in high school,” he said. “I was glad I was able to come here my last two years of high school.”

Cooper Vinz, who played guard for the Spartans’ basketball team and was Sycamore’s starting first baseman in the spring, said the fan support made everything that much better.

“Sycamore’s always been respected as a team. As we went further and further, I felt like as a school and as a community, everyone just came together, and everyone was here,” he said. “Everyone was here to cheer us on.”

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