November 22, 2001 11:00 pm

State championships in athletics only come along every so often for most schools. But two Union County teams managed to bring home their sports top trophies this fall. The county and especially the communities of Union and Cove should be especially proud of Unions girls cross country team and Coves volleyball team.

These two teams beat out tough competition in their respective classes Union at the 2A level and Cove at the 1A level. Getting the chance to compete for a state title by getting into the playoffs is tough enough, but to persevere and win takes a lot of dedication and effort on the part of the participants.

State titles arent new to Unions cross country program. Coach Tom Hayes, in his last year before retirement, has turned little Union into one of the 2A running capitals of the state. He has produced competitors year after year, and has won seven state cross country and two track titles during his tenure at Union. This years team did their coach and their community proud.

Coves volleyball team had to overcome its nemesis to earn a state title. The Lady Leopards went back and forth with Powder Valley all season, but prevailed when it counted most at district and state. Powder was the only team to beat Cove all year. That says something about both teams, as well as Coves ability to win when it mattered most.

Union and Coves teams deserve congratulations for their efforts. State titles arent easy to win, but the girls from both schools have etched themselves into their schools and their communities history.

Way to go!

Try candlelight

Have some fun with your energy-saving ideas. Changing lightbulbs, turning thermostats down and making sure your house is sealed properly make a lot of sense and can result in energy and cost savings, but lets face it, they dont change our routines much. This weeks Community Conservation Challenge from the Bonneville Power Administration can add some spark to saving energy.

This weeks challenge is to have dinner by candlelight once a week.

Alone, turning off the lights for an hour or so once a week wont amount to much. But as a region, the savings could add up to about 300 million kilowatts a year about $19 million. And besides, as BPA public utilities specialist Rebecca Clark says, a candlelit dinner can make the ordinary extraordinary bringing family together while saving energy.

So go ahead and schedule a weekly candlelight dinner. Make saving energy a family matter.