In 1985, the Dixie Girls State Tournament — held in City Park — ended with Union winning the state championship. Twenty-five years later, history repeated itself when the 2010 state tournament — held this time at the Timken Sports Complex — ended with the Union Dixie Belles bringing the state championship home to Union County.
The last several days have been a heady time for Union County with three of the five Dixie divisions playing their state tournament at the sports complex. That alone would be a great honor but we’ve been blessed with even more honors in the form of the compliments we’ve received about the complex and the possibility that more such athletic events will be played there.
A even greater honor was that local teams — the Union County Dixie Ponytails, Belles and Debs — were playing for the championship in each division. They made the tournament even more special event and a truly precious memory for the people of Union County.
Though they fell short of the championship in their divisions, the Ponytails and the Debs nevertheless showed everybody why they were contenders. We’re confident we’ve not seen the last of our Ponytails and Debs in the state tournament. We’re equally certain that one day we’ll be celebrating them as state champions as well.
Today, however, is the Belles’ day and a happy one it is for them, for us and all the people of Union County. The Belles of 2010 have written their own chapter in a legacy of victory that was first authored in 1985. They did it through hard work and teamwork, through dedication and determination, setting an example we should all seek to emulate and not just on the playing field.
Through their victory, our Belles have given this county the perfect ending to an exceptional week. They are Union County’s champions and its daughters and we, their extended community family, are proud of them.
There is, however, more to come because while the week of the state tournament may be over, our Belles’ journey toward victory is not. As state champions they are going to the 2010 Dixie World Series in Louisiana where they will test their mettle against other state champions. We have no doubt they will play to the very best of their ability and prove, first, why they are contenders and, second, why they are champions.
So once again, congratulations, Belles, on winning the state championship. We wish you the very best and good luck in the world series.