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Our View: Raiders are winners

The Southern Oregon University Raiders football team will take the field today in the semifinals of the NAIA national championships. Regardless of the outcome, it's a remarkable achievement — but perhaps not surprising, given the success the Raiders have had in athletic endeavors across the board.

In addition to the football team, the school's volleyball team qualified for nationals as one of the top 24 NAIA teams in the nation. They were ousted Thursday after finishing 1-2 in pool play, but ended the year with an impressive 24-7 record.

That followed on the heels of the SOU men's and women's cross country teams' successes and appearances in their national championships, where the men finished second. That matched 2013, when the men's team also had the individual champion, Eric Avila, who captured three national championships in running his senior year. 

Both the men's and women's basketball teams are ranked nationally and the Raiders wrestling squad is a perennial powerhouse, finishing last year's championships in fourth place, with one national champion, Brock Gutches, and six All-Americans.

On the gridiron, the football team has not only won games behind the arm of quarterback Austin Dodge, the NAIA's all-time passing leader, but has put community members in the stands with its high-octane football. This is a team that not so long ago was facing questions about its future. Those questions seem to have been answered.

Let's hope they add to their legacy with a win today. But, regardless of the outcome, the Raiders are obviously winners.