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Peterson: Graduation a time for reflection

Young people from area schools will take their final steps as high school students in the next week or so.

Graduation is a special time in any youngster’s life because it represents a chapter of their life they will only get to experience once.

High school was special because of that.

For those who had the opportunity to take part in athletics, it carries a special significance. And for many, it was also the last time they will have the chance to compete on an official level.

The Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Class of 2021 will carry many memories of this pandemic-hindered year.

As seniors, they had the chance to go deep into the basketball postseason three times. Davin Hill and Connor LeClaire were the DB-TC standouts the past two seasons.

Many of those members on the boys squad were part of two Upper Peninsula championship teams that made it to the Final Four in East Lansing.

What can top that thrill? It’s one very few athletes ever get to experience.

The Calumet High Class of 2021 also had more than its share of success, coming in hockey, girls basketball and football.

The Copper Kings hockey team made it to the finals in 2020 –only to be turned back just before their first game by the pandemic scare.

This season, sparked by standout Dean Loukus, saw them advance to the title game before falling to Cranbrook. Loukus was rightly named Mr. Hockey in the state this week.

The CHS girls hoops team won a second straight district title and knocked off perennial powerhouse St. Ignace in the quarterfinals.

Led by all-state guard Elli Djerf, they made it to the semifinals before falling.

The Calumet football team was edged by Negaunee by a point in the playoffs after advancing a step further than in 2019.

I believe the Copper Kings, who were nipped by Maple City-Glen Lake, had the talent to win a state title, which incidentally, was won by Glen Lake.

There were other seniors who shone in their final year.

Performers like Elise Besonen of Ewen-Trout Creek, Christan Hocking of Jeffers, Maija Rice of L’Anse, Caleb Klein of Lake Linden-Hubbell and many others went out in a blaze of glory.

All of the above gained all-U.P. and/or all-state honors.

They can reflect fondly on 2021, a year that carried a lot of negative things.

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