It was a banner day for Wesleyan soccer as both teams won their respective Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class A Private State Championship matches in Powder Springs on May 16.
The boys’ team took home the title with a 2-1 victory against Whitefield Academy. It’s the second championship in program history for the Wolves and the first since 2016.
The WolfPack jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 14:55 mark of the first half on a Wes Peterson goal. Wesleyan responded later in the half with a goal by Liam Coxhead on an assist from Javy Martinez to tie the score 1-1 heading into halftime. The Wolves took the lead for good early in the second half on Harrison Larner’s goal from an assist by Sean Renz to secure the championship.
“The key factor was not giving up when we were down 1-0,” Wesleyan boys’ head coach Billy Coxhead said. “Liam’s goal gave us momentum going into halftime. Aiden Kresl made many saves throughout the game but especially in the final 15 minutes.”
Wesleyan concluded its season on a seven-match winning streak on its championship run.
“We were a mediocre 8-6 part way through the season,” Coxhead said. “However, at this point, we changed the lineup some and found a new rhythm for the rest of the season. Winning the second title in four years just shows that we have been blessed with some really good players during this time.”
The Wesleyan boys’ team started the postseason as the top seed from Area 8 and defeated King’s Ridge, Mount de Sales and Atlanta International School before entering the title match.
The Wolves’ girls team also won the state title with a 3-1 victory over Pinecrest Academy. Its Wesleyan’s second championship and first since 2017.
Lucy Mitchell scored two goals in the first half to give the Wolves a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. Ashley Cowart’s second-half goal brought home title for Wesleyan.
“The chemistry of the team, the hard work, the leadership of many or our players, and the great moment we were having in the playoff season were key factors,” Wolves’ girls head coach Guillermo Vallejo said. “It talks really high about the quality of our soccer program. We are a small school and this makes difficult to have a lot of numbers. Out athletes have to compete in two sports or more. Winning two titles in three years is amazing. I am so proud of our players, my assistant coach, administrators, parents and everybody who supported our successful season.”
Wesleyan was the second seed from Area 8 and defeated Mount Pisgah Christian, First Presbyterian and Holy Innocents’ to reach the finals.
The GHSA Lacrosse State Championships took place in Kennesaw on May 18. The Milton girls’ team won the Class 6A-7A state title with a 20-7 victory against Mill Creek for the program’s third-consecutive championship and 13th overall. Blessed Trinity’s girls team fell to Starr’s Mill 11-8 in the Class A-5A title match.
The GHSA State Track and Field Championships at various locations from May 9 through 11 with several local athletes taking home individual titles.
The Class 6A competition was held at Grisham Stadium in Carrollton. The Alpharetta boys’ team won the state title with 40 points followed by Bradwell Institute and New Manchester. The Raiders’ 4x100-meter “A” relay team featuring the group of Errol Williams, Jaden Slocum, Kent Cherry, Robbie Ruppel, Austin Joyner and Dylan Merrell won its race in 3:16.23. Alpharetta’s “B” team was third in the race and included runners Joshua Flynn, Dane Motley, Kylen Crosby, Jackson Frizzell, Nicholas Haven and Arat Joanico. Ruppel was also second in the 400-meter dash.
Northview’s Liban Ismael was second in the high jump. Jack Filan of Cambridge placed second in the 1,600-meter run and third in the 3,200-meter run. Chattahoochee’s Kyle Coleman finished third in the 800-meter run.
The Class 6A girls’ competition saw Centennial athlete Cathryn Gray win three ambulatory events; the discus throw, shot put and 100-meter dash. Cambridge’s Ashley Sechrest won the 3,200-meter run in 11:12.22 and was also third in the 1,600-meter run.
Ryan Jackson of Cambridge was second in the long jump, Johns Creek’s Anna Conroy placed second in the pole vault. Cambridge’s Michaela Prevallet was second in the 100-meter hurdles and teammate Grace Wolf earned third in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Class 4A competition was held at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. Blessed Trinity girls runner Hannah Miniutti won the 3,200-meter run in 11:09.87 and was second in the 1,600-meter run. Denmark boys’ runner Karthik Kochuparambil was second in the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs.
The Class 7A competition was held at Valhalla Stadium in Rome. Roswell girls’ runner Mallie MacKenzie was third in the 800-meter run. The boys’ competition saw Milton’s Matthew Mazzacano place second in the pole vault and his teammate Demarrie Taylor was second in the 100-meter run. Jack Rhodes of Roswell earned second in the 1,600-meter run.
The Class A Private meet was also in Rome. The St. Francis girls’ team was fourth in the competition won by Landmark Christian. Knights’ athlete Savannah Samuel won the high jump at 1.63 meters. Nea Sanders was second in the 400-meter dash and teammate Margaret Dudley was also second in the 100-meter hurdles. Sanders also placed third in the 300-meter hurdles.
The boys’ competition saw Dwon Odom of St. Francis win the triple jump with a distance of 13.64 meters and the long jump at 6.71 meters. Fellow Knights’ athlete Isaiah Wadsworth won the 100-meter dash in 10.92 seconds. Wesleyan’s Matthew Steinback won the pole vault at 3.96 meters.