The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 7, 2013

LEVINE: Sports book will feature best athletes, teams

From Duke Slater to David Johnson, the area’s athletic story is a long, winding story, of many successes and firsts that get lost through time.

Titles and all-state recognition aren’t hard to find throughout the history of Clinton, Camanche and Fulton, Ill., sports. But remembering all the great achievements through the decades is sometimes difficult to recall with each passing year.

To celebrate the legacy of these towns’ athletic endeavors, the Clinton Herald will undertake a large project for the summer. We’re honoring high school athletes and teams through a new book in August.

During the last month, we’ve done research about the best athletes to walk the halls of Clinton, Prince of Peace, Camanche and Fulton high schools. What we found is that individual achievements and titles aren’t hard to find.

Teams in Clinton County have registered 90 titles throughout the history of Iowa high school sports. That ranks ninth among 99 counties in Iowa. From the 1932 Clinton High School boys track team to the 2013 Clinton girls tennis team, the successes in sports changes with the decades.

Clinton High School boys track dominated in the 1930s, giving way to a swimming dynasty that spanned three decades from the 1940s to the ‘60s. Camanche High School’s boys tennis teams took a backseat to no one in the 1980s and ‘90s, and now the school’s girls tennis team is a dominant force in the state.

Because of the reciprocal nature of the area’s successes in sports, we’re focusing our book on athletes and teams through the decades. We’re examining athletes from the 1960s and before, 1970s, ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s.

We’re choosing about 10 athletes from each decade that represented the three previously mentioned towns. That has created some debate about who should make the book, and who will be left off, and I’m sure that debate will continue in these towns when the book is published. But like any sport, we have to make a cut somewhere, and trust me, some great athletes will be left out.

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