Congratulations are due to the Calumet High School volleyball team on their historic playoff run.
And while the bigger trophy was handed to Schoolcraft High School Saturday in Battle Creek, the enormity of the Copper Kings' accomplishment cannot be overstated.
Advancing to the championship match of an entire-state volleyball tournament is no small achievement; in fact, it is something no other Upper Peninsula school had ever done.
With their impressive semifinal win Thursday over Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central to advance to the final match, the Kings did more than post a win for Calumet High. Their victory was shared by everyone who has ever played, coached or enjoyed volleyball in the Upper Peninsula.
The advancement of the sport in the U.P. in general, and the Copper Country in particular, has been incredible. In a relatively short time, the Western Upper Peninsula has become synonymous with excellence in the sport.
Our local teams routinely do well in tournaments throughout the state.
To be sure, Calumet's advance to the finals was not an anomaly, but an inevitability. Each year saw the team take another step, with a first-ever advance to the quarter-finals a few years ago, last year's semifinal appearance and this year's victory in the semifinal.
While the glory centers around this fine group of athletes in Calumet, the victory was shared by many. This was a victory for Mary Kaminski, John Christianson, Maureen Schick, Kristen Schuster, Dan Farley and the countless other coaches and supporters who have sacrificed to put our area on the state volleyball map.
Not only did Calumet coach Lisa Twardzik and her players find success this season, they did it the right way, with sportsmanship and class.
Hats off to the Calumet Copper Kings for showing the entire state what "U.P. Power" is all about.