Kudos to the two area teams that traveled to their respective state tournaments this month.
The Ottumwa girls softball squad earned sixth-place honors at the Iowa Softball Class 5A State Tournament, posting a 35-10 record on the year.
Coach Frank Huston and his group of young women are to be congratulated on a season where they earned a number of quality wins, including victories over eventual state champion Ankeny, previous state champion Des Moines East and highly ranked Waukee.
Meanwhile, the Davis County boys baseball team returned to the Class 2A State Baseball Tourney in Des Moines this year, hoping to repeat as state champions.
While they came up short this past Thursday against North Polk in the tournament’s semifinals, the Mustangs have nothing to hang their heads for as they posted an impressive 42-2 record in 2012.
Coach Dave Middleton and his squad demonstrated they are a cohesive, well-oiled baseball machine ready to take on all challengers.
The Ottumwa girls, the Davis County boys, as well as their loyal fans proved once again that southern Iowa has a lot to be proud of.
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If you haven’t already signed up or pledged your support, Ottumwans still have time to back the city’s desire to become a Blue Zones demonstration site.
The Blue Zones Project is part of Gov. Branstad’s Healthiest State Initiative to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation by 2016, and demonstration sites around the state are being picked.
While Ottumwa was not successful in the first round (four communities were chosen: Cedar Falls, Mason City, Spencer and Waterloo), the community has a second chance at being named one of the remaining six communities to receive the Blue Zones designation.
While the local Blue Zones committee is optimistic about their chances, officials still need you.
One of the critical areas in terms of receiving a Blue Zones designation is community engagement.
Right now, just more than 14 percent of Ottumwa residents have pledged their support. Frankly, that number is way too low. We need to bolster that number and get involved.
Ottumwa’s submission is due Aug. 27, so we have one month to get as many people involved as possible.
Let’s show Blue Zones leaders that we’re serious about becoming a healthier community by logging onto www.bluezonesproject.com and clicking “Join the Movement.”