The Marion Wildcats continued their winning ways in the past year after high-school sports were curtailed for the previous two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We got a normal year," Marion Unit 2 athletic director Ryan Goodisky told the board of education last week during his annual report on the school year's sports successes.
In the South Seven Conference, MHS scored its fourth straight title in girls golf, second-consecutive in boys cross country, third straight in football and the seventh consecutive for the softball team. Other South Seven championships in 2021-22 were in wrestling, girls track and field and baseball.
Marion was the winner of the South Seven Gold Cup, earning wins in enough sports to top Carbondale, Mt. Vernon, Belleville Althoff, Centralia and Cahokia. It was the Wildcats' first gold cup win since 1986, Goodisky said. "I expect another great year," he added.
Changes are ahead for the South Seven, which will be down to five schools with the withdrawal of Belleville Althoff.
At the state level, Goodisky noted, MHS were regional champs in boys cross country, wrestling, boys basketball, softball, girls soccer and girls track. Kara Odum was state champ in girls cross country. Football made it to the Elite Eight, and the MHS pom squad were AA Kick State Champs.
Other highlights included the spring college signings of 19 MHS athletes.
The board, meanwhile, approved the list of MHS coaching assignments for the coming year. They include football head coach Kerry Martin, volleyball head coach Jaime Clark, Girolamo Intravaia as boys soccer head coach, cheer head coach Jamie Drake, dance head coach Laura Sanders, boys basketball head coach Gus Gillespie, girls basketball head coach Casey Rose, wrestling head coach Darren Lindsey and softball head coach Joy Neal.