When will city limit’s State championship signs be updated?


Keegan Honig

Craig Bebow, a member of the 2020 boys cross country team who won the Division Three State title, points at the sign that will soon display the teams win.

Keegan Honig, Staff Writer

If you’ve ever driven into the quaint town of St. Louis, you may have noticed a green sign at the city limits celebrating St. Louis High School state championships. It’s a dream of many athletes to help their teams win a state title, and this sign memorializes those who were able to achieve that dream and be the best in the state of Michigan. The St. Louis’ boys’ cross country team won a state championship this season, so many people’s minds have gone to the signs at the city limits, wondering when this team will have its title recognized on M-46.

Currently, the green signs on the outskirts of St. Louis recognize the 2005 boys’ cross country championship (the last time cross country won before 2020) and the 2015 girls’ bowling championship. However, St. Louis has won more than those two titles, including girls’ volleyball in 1999 and 2001. Some towns in the area have several state championships presented at their city limits, so this begs the question: why does St. Louis only present two?

After some digging, the answer turned out to be actually quite simple. Because the city limit signs for St. Louis lie on the highway M-46, there is a character limit for signs on the road. This is why all of the Sharks’ previous state titles are not recognized. According to SLHS’ Athletic Director Bryan Anderson, “When we update the sign, we limit the two most recent state championships.” This means that at one time, the volleyball titles were recognized, but they have since been pushed out by more recent St. Louis wins.

With the decision to limit to two championships, it’s a clear choice to use the two most recent ones. However, the Poms team recently won a title in 2017, and in the three years since, they haven’t been added to the signs. There is a reason for this, though. City DDA Director Phil Hansen stated the following concerning the topic: “We try to put up new signs whenever someone wins a state championship, but sometimes there is a gap until we get two winners because of the cost of doing these signs. To ‘make up for’ that fact, the City and schools had a nice sign created that is on the side of Subway, where we list every state championship winner as soon as we can after it happens.”

In regards to updating the signs, Hansen shared that the brand-new signs, which will recognize 2017 Poms and 2020 cross country, have been requested from the Michigan Department Of Transportation (MDOT). However, MDOT has not given a specific timeframe for when the signs will be delivered. He also shared, “These signs will replace the existing state champions signs because they have space limits on the posts. They will not be ‘added to’ the signs that are already there.”

It may not be known how soon the green signs at the city limits will display 2017 Poms and 2020 cross country, but the athletes at SLHS are extremely excited for the honor. Aaron Bowerman was a valuable contributor to the 2020 championship by earning All-State honors with a ninth-place finish at the state meet. He shared, “I just think it’s really cool that anybody coming in and out of St. Louis will be seeing the team I ran with and that it’s going to be there for a while.”