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      Mendon celebrates Unity's first state appearance

      Mendon celebrates Unity Mustangs 1st state appearance

      The small town of Mendon, Illinois celebrated one of its high school basketball team's biggest accomplishments Thursday.

      The Unity Mustang basketball team loaded up a bus Thursday morning headed for Peoria to compete in the state semifinals against Mooseheart.

      It's a big deal for people in Mendon when their beloved basketball team makes it into the state semi-finals.

      "Everybody is very proud, very proud, very excited for the boys and the team and the coaches," Unity Mustang fan Kevin Beck said.

      "There's just electricity in the air here in Mendon," former Unity High School student Janna Lockman said. "It's a good day."

      This is the first time the team has ever made the trip to the tournament in Peoria, a milestone many people have waited decades for.

      "We have a very strong community, a very supportive community, you know it's like a big family and it's a great day to be a Mustang," Beck said.

      Talk to any member of this community and they'll share a story on why this season's team holds a special place in their heart.

      "It's hard to describe them until you've actually seen them play on the court, but it's a good feeling," Mendon resident Monica Maynard said. "The community is just overwhelmed with it right now."

      "There are a lot of loyal fans who come out and support our teams on and on," Mendon CUSD 4 Superintendent Brian Kruz said. "So for them to have the opportunity to see a team like this, to have success and make some upsets in a long run in the post season has been really, really fun and I'm sure it's really satisfying for them."

      It's a dream for many fans to see the Mustangs win, but no matter which trophy the team brings home, these fans will always be proud of the player's accomplishments.

      "I don't think it matters if we could lose 400 to nothing and everybody is just tickled to death," Beck said. "Hopefully we win. It's a great day to be a Mustang."

      If the Unity Mustangs win Friday's game against Mooseheart, the team will play for its first state title on Saturday.