Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

December 31, 2013

2013 in review: A year of champions

BLUEFIELD — The championship. It’s what student-athletes and their coaches profess to want the minute practice starts for a new season.

There is no substitute for realizing that you and your teammates, or your own efforts in an individual sport, have taken on all competition, bested the best that the playoff system threw at you, and triumphed in that sport’s final encounter, when only the two teams in the state remained.

The 12 months ending today featured several celebrations at the pinnacle of accomplishment by teams and individuals from our region.

The tough task was organizing the list for 2013, a chronicle of seven state titles on the varsity or college level.

By definition, each sport is unique, and it is fruitless to debate the pecking order of which one is “better” than another, because everyone has his or her opinion, and most of those viewpoints have validity.

Also, some schools are larger than others and their athletes compete at a different postseason level, which is not to say that their students are any less talented.

As these pages have noted through the years, top talent from the smallest schools, given the right opportunity at the next level, can make a splash as stars in collegiate or professional sports.

In addition, the tradition of success into which some programs tap can be counter-balanced by the novelty of a first-time championship. Knowing that your trophy will always be the first one in the trophy case is as good a feeling as being part of a team that tapped into its institution’s heritage and matched the triumphs of years gone by.

The Daily Telegraph sports staff is pleased to offer this look at the year gone by, giving our readers one more chance to relive the significant memories of a year that included multiple championships, as well as bedrock changes in conferences and leagues that will affect competition for years to come.

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