HUGS go to ... the Argyle baseball team, which finished off a remarkable two-year run by winning its second consecutive state championship with a win Thursday night over Sweeny. The Eagles are 77-1-1 over the past two years, and the team’s senior class finished with a 130-10-2 record in four years with the program. Ricky Griffin, who took over as the team’s head coach in 2007, has won 313 games and three state championships at Argyle.

HUGS go to … Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud of France and his dog, Norman. Ahead of racing Saturday night in Denton County, Pagenaud shared some perspective with the Denton Record-Chronicle: “I’ve always had dogs my whole life, and I’ve always loved it because it’s easy to get down after a tough day. When you go home and you see that dog just happy as he can be, welcoming you at home. You leave for five minutes, you come back — he’s just as happy. There’s a lot to learn from that, I think, for any human being. It’s easy to get down on yourself, but that kind of companionship can really help you relate to events. To me, the love of a dog is everything.”

HUGS go to ... University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk, who was named to Conference USA’s executive committee this week during the league’s annual spring meetings. The presidents of each C-USA school serve on the league’s board of directors. A handful of those presidents are elected to serve on an executive committee that helps set policy for the league. Smatresk has played a key role in UNT’s development in athletics during his tenure at the school. He played a key role in hiring athletic director Wren Baker and in the improvements UNT has made to its athletic facilities over the past few years. He’ll have the opportunity to make an impact for C-USA as a member of the executive committee.

HUGS go to ... Dallas philanthropist Lyda Hill for her donation to fund a new $4.6 million campaign to raise human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) rates in 26 North Texas counties, including Denton County. The three-year campaign will work to educate health care providers about a vaccination that prevents 90% of cancers caused by HPV. This donation will change and improve lives throughout the region.

HUGS go to ... PRIDENTON, the committee behind Pride events in Denton on June 24-30, for arranging this year’s events. They work all year to bring inclusive programming to the community.

HUGS go to ... the scrappy, hardworking crew that plans and stages Denton’s Juneteenth Celebration. The annual event is coming up June 14-15 at Fred Moore Park, 501 S. Bradshaw St. While the weekend includes music, a parade and games, it commemorates the day when the U.S. Army piloted naval ships into Galveston to make sure Texas landowners freed their slaves.

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