Alrighty then … I’m going to address the elephant in the room.
For the first time in 14 years, the word "streak" will not be en vogue on West Pioneer Trail.
I get it. You don’t want to read this. Let’s just put this behind us and move on, shall we?
Well, pardon me for being annoying for one just more column … maybe.
I refuse to ignore one of the greatest periods of athletic achievements in recent memory.
The Aurora football team’s 13-year streak of playoff appearances finally reached its conclusion last fall.
OK, deep breath … whew! Glad to get that over with it!
Yes, the unflappable Greenmen came down to earth after being quite formidable since the early stages of George W. Bush’s second term.
Of course, such a statement is a bit misleading. Aurora actually had a better record than it did the previous year.
The Greenmen finished 7-3 after a 6-5 2017 season and needed some wacky situations in the final weeks to be denied entry into the postseason.
Therefore, Aurora will most likely be under the radar once the Friday night lights are turned on late in August.
Call it a hunch, but something in my gut tells me that’s just the way the Greenmen like it.
Two stellar distance runners certainly won’t be under the radar.
Rising senior Karsen Zabell and rising sophomore Matthew Singleton have plans for another trip to Hebron.
That would be the location of the Division I state cross country meet.
Zabell and Singleton, who was the top freshman at last year’s state competition, would like nothing more than a trip to the podium this time.
And they probably wouldn’t mind having some companions join them in Hebron, as well.
The Aurora girls soccer team hopes to keep the good times rolling after a very successful 2018 season.
The Greenmen earned a share of the Suburban League American Conference title and reached a district championship game for the first time since 2012.
Aurora, which finished 11-5-3 last year, will have some new faces step up to the plate.
One of those new faces is its head coach.
Domenica McClintock takes over a program that lost 12 seniors to graduation.
No need to worry, though. I have a feeling the young Greenmen will surprise some people in the coming months.
The Aurora boys soccer team had a just about impossible act to follow in 2018.
The Greenmen reached the Division II state semifinals the previous year and that team was absolutely loaded with senior standouts.
I would argue that last year’s squad did pretty darn well with practically a brand new lineup.
Aurora finished 11-6-1 and advanced to a district semifinal contest. Once again, the Greenmen saw a rather gargantuan senior class depart, including their top goal-scorer, Cooper Bizjak.
Of course, we’ve been through this sort of situation before, haven’t we?
The Aurora boys golf team finished 7-5 a year ago and featured a district qualifier. Rising junior Luke Radis advanced and is looking to play one week longer than he did in 2018.
If he accomplishes his goal, he’ll be teeing off at the state tournament in Columbus.
After two straight losing seasons, the Aurora volleyball team climbed back to respectability with a 12-12 record last season.
If the Greenmen want to take another step, they will do so without outside hitter/middle hitter Morgan Copley, who is now a member of the Kent State University volleyball team.
As for the Aurora girls golf and tennis teams, they are hoping to make a bit of a jump after winning six matches apiece last fall.
So, now that one breathtaking streak has come to an end, which team will begin another? And will it last as long as the baker’s dozen the football squad accumulated prior to last year?
I’ll be happy to report those answers in the near future. Hopefully, that includes some dates after Halloween.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.