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Sports

Trojans say goodbye to ‘special group of kids’

Troy Southard delivers a pitch in the sectional final.
Steve Bittinger for Shaw Media
Troy Southard delivers a pitch in the sectional final. Steve Bittinger for Shaw Media

DOWNERS GROVE – Chad Isaacson asked just a few things of his Downers Grove North baseball team this spring.

Work hard, come prepared, and improve as the season progressed. Even after the Trojans’ season ended with a 12-4 loss to Neuqua Valley in the sectional championship game, the coach praised his players’ efforts.

“For all the years these guys have been in the program they continued to get better every day, and that’s all we’ve ever asked,” Isaacson said. “They’re a better product today than when we started the year. Become a better player, a better person, that’s all we’ve asked, and bar none they’ve done that.”

After a blistering 13-2 start that saw the Trojans take the early lead in the West Suburban Silver conference, they scuffled down the stretch and went 3-8 in May before the playoffs started. But then North recaptured that early momentum for an extended playoff run.

“We’ve been a resilient crew,” Isaacson said. “The last few weeks of the season we spun our wheels a little bit. But they battled their tails off, got it corrected, righted the ship and pushed through a regional into the sectional and have an opportunity at a sectional championship. I’m so proud of them just for their character and how they went about their business.”

The sectional loss signaled the end of the road for a slew of seniors, who were a big piece of the Trojans’ success this year.

“You can’t say enough (about the seniors), their work ethic and how they went about their business every single day,” Isaacson said. “They made it run and everyone else went right along with it. It’s a special group of kids. They’re going to move on to bigger and better things.”

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