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Top Sports Stories of 2013

Scott Leber picks his top five local sports stories of the year.
ROCKFORD-2013 might not have been such a great year for jobs and the economy, but there was a lot to like in the world of sports. Here are Scott's top picks as the top local sports stories of the year.

The fifth biggest local sports story is a pair of state football champions from the Stateline.  Lena-Winslow and Stillman Valley each added to their Title Town totals.  Le-Win earning it’s second and Stillman it’s fifth in the first year that the State Championships were held in DeKalb.

At number four I’m going with Fred Van Vleet and Wichita State’s amazing ride to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Van Vleet played a key role off the bench. The former Auburn star proving that he can play big time college ball.

At number three it’s Byron’s Sean Considine becoming only the third Stateline man ever to play on a Super Bowl Champion.   His Baltimore Ravens knocked off the 49ers in New Orleans.

At number two it’s the NIU Huskies amazing year of football. It started January first with a visit to the Orange Bowl.  It included road wins at Iowa and Purdue.  And it ended with a trip to San Diego for the Poinsettia Bowl.  And it was all achieved with a third place Heisman Trophy finisher at the controls.

And the number one local sports story of the year in my view.  The Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup. What makes this local is half the team was made up of former IceHogs including goalie Corey Crawford.  And several of those Blackhawks began the season in Rockford due to the NHL lockout.  The Blackhawks were the NHL’s best team from start to finish.

Other Top Stories:
Jefferson Football forfeits final three games after players walk out on team.
Rock Valley College women’s basketball team repeats at National Champions.
Roscoe native Danica Patrick becomes the first woman to earn the Daytona 500 pole.
Rockford native Chad Knaus wins his sixth NASCAR Cup Championship as the crew chief for Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team.
Aquin girls basketball team repeats as State Champions
Keith girls volleyball team wins first State Championship
Boylan’s football team extends NIC-10 win streak to 74.
Dakota wrestling team wins State.
Rockford Icemen Hockey Team wins State.

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