Editorials

Two local youths are big winners thanks to losing

Belleville girl competes on Food Network

Ava Wagner, an 11-year-old from Belleville, got to watch herself on TV on Monday as she competed on the Food Network show Kids BBQ Championship.
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Ava Wagner, an 11-year-old from Belleville, got to watch herself on TV on Monday as she competed on the Food Network show Kids BBQ Championship.

If you recently found yourself being a grump and yelling for some kids to get off your lawn, we think we found two examples of youths you’d like to have in your yard. One would be on the grill. The other would play a little catch.

Ava Wagner, 11, of Belleville is darned good on the grill. She recently competed on the Food Network’s Kids BBQ Championship show and could have walked away with $10,000 had her lobster mac and cheese not been soupy.

But “losing” was lost on her. Her steak was great, and the experience was fun: “My jaw hurts because I was smiling so much.”

And she has bigger steaks to fry. Gymnastics and marine biology are calling.

“Cooking isn’t a priority in life.”

The other local youngster to be proud of also lost, at least he thought so. Collinsville’s Tanner Houck in 2014 got out of high school and was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in round 12 as the 354th player of the Major League Baseball draft.

He was upset. He thought he was much better than that. He went to Mizzou and reminded himself of his disappointment by tattooing “RD12/PK354/BLUEJAYS’14” where it would show beneath his glove on every pitch he made during college.

On Monday he was “RD1/PK24/BOSOX’17” in the MLB draft.

Two great local youths, worthy of an honored place at your house and a very special spot in their fathers’ hearts Sunday and every day.

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