Each year as state champions are crowned across the country, focus often falls on programs that have won several times in a row or continue long-time excellence in a sport. Some schools rack up state championships year after year, making it seem easy to win one. However, winning a state championship is a very hard thing to accomplish.
Just ask any athlete at Lebanon (Indiana) High School in the past 98 years. In that time, the school had not won a state championship until its softball team took home the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A title this weekend.
From the Indianapolis Star:
Lebanon High School pitcher Jessica Weaver stood near the pitcher’s circle. She looked around. She wasn’t sure what to do. Then, catcher Hannah Dybalski ran up and locked her in a hug.
Weaver had just pitched Lebanon (27-1) to the school’s first state championship in 98 years. The Tigers captured the Class 3A state title with a 2-1 win over Kankakee Valley (29-6) Saturday at Ben Davis.
“It didn’t really hit me,” Dybalski said. “I just started hugging her. We both started crying a little bit, talking to each other like, ‘We did it. It was us. Finally. Four years.’ And then we got done hugging, and I was just like, ‘We won.’ I don’t think it really hit me until after we got done hugging and being emotional.”
It was just the fourth state title in school history. Lebanon’s three previous state titles came in boys basketball: 1911-12, 1916-17 and 1917-18.