A trophy case sits across from the Boscobel High School office almost completely filled with state champion and runner-up trophies courtesy of the cross country team - a major sign of a highly decorated running program.
Boscobel has enjoyed a bevy of success in its boys and girls cross country programs. For the first time since 2004, both squads will boast teams at the WIAA Division 3 state cross country meet Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids. The girls will run at 11 a.m.; the boys at 1 p.m.
"There's always people in this town running," said Boscobel Athletic Director and former cross country coach Greg Bell, who coached for 12 seasons. "We do have a rich tradition and have been successful. We've been very fortunate. We've paid the price to be the best. The kids buy in. You wonder after someone leaves, which one, two, three kids are going to be next. Someone always steps up. Sometimes there are different little parts, but we make it work."
The girls have gone to state 10 of last 11 years and in that time period have won three state championships (2002, 04, 07). The boys had a run of seven straight trips to state from 1998-2004 and won the title in 2003. The Bulldogs are going back after near misses the last three seasons in which they finished third twice and fourth once.
"They get along so well," Bulldogs coach Skyler Reynolds said. "They love being around each other. I've heard several times this year, they never want it to be done."
Reynolds knows that tradition all too well as he is a former runner for Bell. Being a part of the storied past helps influence his team to run their best.
"Even when you talk to the kids, they believe in what you're saying when you grew up here," Reynolds said.
Including when a grueling workout is on the horizon - the Bulldogs are raring to go.
"The kids have an extremely good understanding of why and when we do them," Reynolds said of the exhaustive workouts.
Which makes the ending of each year hard to grasp.
"It's hard to stand in front of the bus without crying," Bell said. "You get that tight bond. Collecting the uniforms after the last race hurts, even if we won. My life's better because of the opportunity to work with the kids I did, that's how special it is."