Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) honored members of the Mercer County High School state championship football team Jan. 28 with a visit and a signed and personalized copy of the statement she submitted into the Congressional Record.
Bustos reflected on the day being her 25th in office.
The Golden Eagles defeated the Althoff Crusaders for the school's first state title since the merger of the Aledo and Westmer school districts.
The event was attended by students, athletes, coaches, school officiais and family members.
Bustos insisted on shaking the hands of all the players present for he ceremony.
MCHS head football coach Nat Zunkel and player Jon Ricke presented Bustos with a mirrored photo of the team which listed its accomplishments over the championship season.
Bustos told the crowd that she is holding a grand opening for her new office Feb. 2 and the gift will hang on the wall there.
Bustos spoke to the audience about how important athletics are in her life. "They helped me develop my leadership skills. I learned about how to work together. I'm in my school's sports hall of fame."
Zunkel noted, "It's pretty cool that she would come here and do this. It's a fantastic honor for Mercer County, especially for our kids. It's pretty significant if you think about it. She is one of 435 representative in the country and she came and gave us an award."
The statement for the Congressional Record submitted by Bustos January 23 reads:
Ms. Bustos of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the outstanding results achieved by the Mercer County Golden Eagles against the Althoff Crusaders in the 2A Illinois state football championship game this past November.
The game was a defensive battle with both sides tied at 7 in the second half. During the third quarter Mercer County linebacker Devin Morford recovered a fumble at his own five yard line, and returned it 95 yards for the game winning touchdown. It was the type of moment that seemed as if it was straight from a movie!
I congratulate the Golden Eagles for winning the Illinois 2A state championship. This hard fought victory by Mercer County gives the school its first state title since merging with the Westmer school district. The school and the entire community should be very proud to see such a hard earned trophy added to their case.
Mister Speaker, I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the Mercer County football team, both on and off the field, and I am honored to salute them today.
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