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Friday, October 17, 2003

Emily Maag, senior, Colstrip Parents: Dennis and Laurie Maag.

Sisters: Mary, 25, and Ashley, 23.

Sports: Golf.

Hobbies: Deer hunting.

Favorite athletes: Mia Hamm, Molly Hatten.

Favorite team: Denver Broncos.

Favorite TV show: Friends.

CD I'm listening to right now: 3 Doors Down.

In third place and 20 strokes back.

That's where the Colstrip girls sat after the first day of the State A golf tournament last weekend. In their minds, that is.

"That's what we kept telling ourselves," said Fillies' senior Emily Maag. "We wanted to go out and play like we were in third place and needed to make up 20 strokes."

In reality, Colstrip held a seven-stroke lead after Friday's first round. The mental approach of Maag & Co. worked, though — the Fillies blew the competition away on Saturday and won the team title by 23 strokes.

"We knew we could do it, and we did," said Maag. "We've been second the last two years, and us three seniors (Maag, Savanna Kroll and Sable Hamilton) knew this was our time to finally do it.

"Nobody was really talking about us as a contender going into the tournament, but we believed in ourselves."

For Maag & Co., winning the championship was the fulfillment of a dream. But it also led to the fulfillment of three others, listed here in Maag's words:

- "We'll finally have a golf banner in the gym. FINALLY."

- "We got to ride around town (Monday) on a fire truck. It was chilly, but it didn't matter … it was great."

- "We get our team picture above the pop machine by the concession stand. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is for us. That picture will be up there forever."

— Mike Zimmer

Zach DeCroo senior, Worland, Wyo. Parents: Frank and Sheri DeCroo.

Brother: Jason, 26. Sisters: Amanda, 23, and

Kalea, 19.

Sports: Football.

Hobbies: Dirt-bike riding, snowboarding.

Favorite athlete: Walter Payton.

Favorite meal: Lasagna.

Favorite movie: Fight Club.

CD I'm listening to right now: Pennywise.

After a year in the trenches, Zach DeCroo is not about to take his blockers for granted.

DeCroo has rushed for 822 yards and nine touchdowns for unbeaten (7-0) Worland this season, and he knows exactly who deserves the credit for those numbers.

"The holes I'm running through are huge," said DeCroo, who played fullback for Worland's Class 4A championship team last year. "Our line and our other backs do a great job of blocking. After last year I know how important those guys are … they get all the credit."

At 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, DeCroo was admittedly not the biggest fullback in the world.

"I got beat up a little," he said. "It was fun, but tailback is definitely where I want to be."

Worland wraps up its regular season tonight against Lovell. Next week the Warriors will begin a playoff march which they hope will end with their third straight 4A state title.

"Going all the way through undefeated is definitely a goal," said DeCroo. "This group (of seniors) went undefeated when we were freshmen … hopefully we can finish that way, too."

— Mike Zimmer