The 2019 calendar year proved to be another stellar run of accomplishments for Northside prep programs on the field.
In the fall, Pace volleyball won the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Class 3A state championship with a 3-0 win over Westminster. After dropping two matches to the Wildcats in the regular season, the Knights were able to exact revenge and earn their third championship in program history.
St. Pius X reached the Class 4A state championship match. Atlanta International (AIS), Wesleyan, Holy Innocents’, Mount Vernon, Galloway, Lovett, Woodward, Marist, Chamblee, North Springs and Riverwood were also in the volleyball state playoffs.
The GHSA state cross country championships were held in Carrollton, with several local teams faring well.
The Wesleyan boys’ team won the Class A Private state title for the second consecutive year. The Wolves finished the team competition with 69 points, led individually by Mac Howie, who finished fourth, and Stafford McDaniel, who placed seventh. Holy Innocents’ was second with 97 points, with Joe Sapone placing sixth individually. Whitefield was sixth in the team event, led by Devin Wade’s third-place finish in the individual standings.
The Holy Innocents’ girls team won its first state championship in program history. The Golden Bears had 66 points, led by three top-10 individual finishes from Reese Newmann (fourth), Hayden Puett (seventh) and Reese Martin (eighth).
Cara Joyce of AIS placed second and teammate Reagan Mahoney was fifth individually in the race to help the Eagles earn fifth in the team competition. Wesleyan was third.
In the Class 3A competition, the Westminster girls’ team won its seventh consecutive state title and 32nd overall. Mira Srinivasa won the individual competition for the Wildcats with a time of 19:49.17, followed by teammate Palmer Walstad in second at 20:08.81. Janie Cooper placed fifth.
Pace was second with 55 points with Lauren Arenth and Payton Payne earning fourth and sixth individually, respectively. Lovett finished third at 89 points with Ellie Wildman and Sydney Lamberson earning seventh and ninth, respectively.
Westminster’s boys’ team won the Class 3A state title for the third consecutive year and 28th time in program history. Zach Roe placed fifth and Matthew Fernando ninth individually for the Wildcats, who had 74 points.
Pace was second in the team competition with 76 points, led by a third-place finish by George Adams individually. Lovett earned third in the standings at 101 points, with Jackson Borden gaining fourth.
St. Pius X swept the Class 4A team competitions. The boys’ team earned its second consecutive championship and 11th overall. The Golden Lions had two top-10 individual finishers with Chad DeWitt in third and Patrick McDonald ninth.
The girls’ team won its fourth championship in program history with three individuals in the top 10 individual standings: Morgan Vaden (fourth), Catherine Breault (fifth) and Mary Brady (seventh). Marist was third in the team standings.
Other local finishes of interest were Anna Robbins placing ninth individually for Atlanta Classical in the Class A Public girls’ competition, Riverwood’s Eli Hoppenfeld earning seventh in the Class 5A boys’ standings and Ele Mezzio finishing third for the Raiders in the girls’ competition.
The GHSA state woftball tournament took place in Columbus Oct. 24 through 26. Wesleyan reached the Class A Private state championship game for the fourth consecutive year after winning the title in 2017 and 2018. The Wolves weren’t as fortunate this season as they fell to Mount de Sales 2-0 in the title contest. Wesleyan finished the season with a school-record 32 wins.
Lovett finished third in the Class 3A tournament, the highest placement in program history. Marist placed fourth in the Class 4A tournament.
Mount Vernon, Whitefield, Galloway, Holy Innocents’, Westminster, Pace, St. Pius X, Woodward, North Springs and Riverwood were also in the softball state playoffs.
The football season saw Wesleyan reach the GHSA Class A Private state finals, falling to Eagle’s Landing Christian. Holy Innocents’, Mount Vernon, Whitefield, Lovett, Pace, Westminster, St. Pius X, Marist, Woodward, North Atlanta and Riverwood also qualified for the football postseason, a record in terms of the number of local teams advancing to state.
In March, the Holy Innocents’ girls’ basketball team took home the GHSA Class A Private state championship with a 75-48 victory over Wesleyan in the title game. The win secured the Golden Bears’ third state championship in program history and first since 2016. Holy Innocents’ also won the title after falling to the Wolves in the previous two state title contests and three of the last four.
Other local girls’ basketball programs to qualify for the GHSA state playoffs were Galloway, Lovett, Pace, Woodward, Marist, St. Pius X and Riverwood. Holy Spirit Prep’s girls’ team won the Georgia Independent Schools Association (GISA) Class AAA state title.
Boys’ basketball programs in the GHSA postseason were Galloway, Westminster, Pace, Marist, St. Pius X, Woodward, Riverwood and North Atlanta. Holy Spirit’s boys team was also in the GISA playoffs, falling to Heritage in the title game.
The GHSA swimming and diving state championships featured Westminster’s boys’ and girls’ teams both winning the Class A-3A titles.
The Wildcats’ boys placed first with 572 points for its 26th state championship. Wesleyan was third. Westminster won the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:34.30 featuring the group of Miles Clayton, Savaan Shah, Daniel Barra and Cole Hinkes for All-America consideration. Westminster picked up another relay win in the 200 freestyle in 1:24.70 and earned All-America honors with the group of Connor Hinkes,Cole Hinkes, Donovan Mitchell and Grayson Harralson. The Wildcats rounded out their relay wins with a first-place mark in the 400 freestyle with the team of Dylan Vroom, Peter Bernot, Connor Hinkes and Harralson posting a mark of 3:07.95 for All-America consideration.
AIS swimmer Nicholas Goudie earned All-America consideration for winning the 50 freestyle in 20.40 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 49.61. Pace’s Charlie Kaye won two individual events. The first one was the 100 freestyle in 45.33 for All-America consideration and the 100 backstroke in 49.35 for All-America honors.
Spence Pearson of Holy Innocents’ won the one-meter diving title with 559.20 points.
Westminster’s girls’ team won its 23rd state title with 445 points.
The Wildcats’ 200 freestyle relay unit of Gigi Johnson, Samantha Bertschi, Annie Jardina and Eliza Normark won its race with a time of 1:34.89 to earn All-America honors. The same grouping also won the 400 freestyle relay team in 3:26.85 for additional All-America status.
Johnson earned individual All-America status with her win in the 200 individual medley at 1:59.87 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.09 for All-America consideration. Wesleyan’s Hannah Wasmuth won the 100 backstroke in 56.49.
Holy Innocents’ swimmer Abby Pilkenton earned All-America honors by winning two individual events, the 200 freestyle in 1:47.06 and 100 freestyle in 50.14. Elizabeth Kaye of Pace won the one-meter diving competition with 611.45 points.
St. Pius X saw its boys’ team won its third consecutive Class 4A-5A state title and fourth overall with a score of 364 points.
The Golden Lions’ 400 freestyle relay team of Ian Grum, Henry Halloran, Noah Daniels and Blake Reynolds won its event with a time of 3:10.40. Grum won the 200 freestyle in 1:38.10 and 500 freestyle in 4:26.38 to earn All-America status in both events.
St. Pius X girls’ team placed second in the Class 4A-5A competition with 256 points, only trailing Chamblee’s mark of 262 points.
Golden Lions’ swimmer Riley Hendrix won the 100 backstroke in 55.77 for All-America consideration. Teammate Abby Cohen took home first in the 500 freestyle at 5:01.80.
Riverwood diver Haley Allen won the one-meter competition with 490.40 points followed by Marist’s Lauren Henderson with 475.55.
North Atlanta diver Drew Sheldon won the Class 6A boys’ competition with a score of 506.75.
The GHSA traditional wrestling state championships saw Woodward complete its team sweep at the statewide level for the 2018-19 campaign with its Class 4A victory. After winning the team duals event earlier that season, the War Eagles finished the traditional competition atop the standings with 169 points.
It’s the fifth traditional team title for the War Eagles and the first since 2013. Woodward had six individual finalists and five champions during the competition: Nick Masters (126 pounds), Michael Kilic (132), Matthew Singleton (138), McCoy Pace (145) and Malcolm Wiley (195).
Holy Innocents’ finished sixth in the Class A competition. Golden Bears grappler Jake Swink brought home the 120-pound individual title.
In the spring, the GHSA golf state championships saw the Westminster boys’ team secure its second consecutive Class 3A state championship and 10th overall.
The Wildcats posted an overall team score of 13-under-par, which was the only mark in the red in the entire competition, 45 strokes ahead of second-place Lovett. Westminster’s winning margin is the largest in GHSA history for a two-day state tournament.
William Love won the individual title, representing Westminster with a mark of nine-under, followed by teammate Sam Lape at five-under (second overall). Lape was named the Class 3A Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Woodward’s girls’ team won its second consecutive state title and seventh overall in the Class 4A competition The War Eagles’ team score of 24-over was four strokes better than second-place finisher Columbus. Marist was fifth in the team competition.
St. Pius X’s boys’ team won the Class 4A state championship for its first title in program history.
Wesleyan had both of its soccer teams win the GHSA Class A Private state championships. The boys’ team took home the title with a 2-1 victory against Whitefield. It was the second championship in program history for the Wolves and the first since 2016.
The Wolves’ girls’ team also won the state title with a 3-1 victory over Pinecrest. It was Wesleyan’s second championship and first since 2017.
Westminster also saw its soccer programs sweep their respective title matches in Class 3A.
The Wildcats’ boys’ team capped off its 21-1-1 campaign in 2019 with a 4-0 victory over Coahulla Creek. It was Westminster’s third consecutive title and 14th overall.
The Wildcats’ girls earned their fifth straight title and 13th overall with a 3-1 overtime win over Lovett.
St. Pius X saw its girls’ team win its 12th state title with a 6-0 victory against Flowery Branch.
Other boys’ soccer teams in the postseason were AIS, Pace, Lovett, St. Pius X, Woodward, Marist, Riverwood and North Springs. Girls’ soccer teams in the state playoffs were Atlanta Classical, Whitefield, Holy Innocents’, Pace, Marist, Woodward, Riverwood and North Springs.
The GHSA Class A-5A boys’ lacrosse final pitted rivals Westminster and Lovett against each other. The back-and-forth affair concluded with the Wildcats emerging with a 9-8 victory in overtime. It’s Westminster’s sixth state title and second in three years. Other boys’ teams to make the postseason were Wesleyan, St. Pius X, Holy Innocents’, Pace, Woodward, Riverwood, Whitefield and Marist. Girls’ lacrosse teams in the playoffs were Westminster, Wesleyan, Holy Innocents’, Lovett, Marist, Pace, St. Pius X and Woodward.
Both Pace tennis programs won their respective GHSA Class 3A state championships.
The title matches were originally scheduled to take place May 4 at the Rome Tennis Center but were postponed due to rain. The Knights’ boys’ team hosted Lovett May 6 in the finals. Pace emerged with a 3-2 victory for their ninth team state title and first since 2002.
Next up was the girls’ championship match between the same two teams. The Knights earned a 3-2 victory over the Lions for their fourth state title and first since 2001.
Marist’s girls’ team won the Class AAAA state title with a 3-2 home win over North Oconee. It’s the 24th state title for the War Eagles in program history and first since 2014.
Chamblee also pulled the sweep with its tennis teams with state titles in Class AAAAA. The Bulldogs’ boys team defeated Grady 3-0 for its second state title and first since 1998. Chamblee’s’ girls’ team won its third consecutive state championship and third overall with a 3-0 victory over Kell.
Other boys’ tennis teams in the postseason were Holy Innocents’, AIS, Wesleyan, Galloway, Westminster, Woodward, St. Pius X, Marist, Riverwood and North Springs. The girls’ tennis teams in the state playoffs were AIS, Wesleyan, Whitefield, Holy Innocents’, Westminster, St. Pius X, North Springs, Riverwood and North Atlanta.
Holy Innocents’, Mount Vernon, Wesleyan, Westminster, Pace, Lovett, Marist, Woodward, St. Pius X, North Springs, Riverwood made the baseball playoffs.
The GHSA held its state track and field championships in May, with AIS runner Cara Joyce winning two Class A Private events starting with the 1,600-meter run in 4:57.90. Joyce’s second victory was in the 800-meter run at 2:12.79. AIS’ 4x100-meter relay team of Rachael Sarelius, Tahlia Pemberton, Reagan Mahoney and Joyce won its event in 4:01.11.
Jada Farrell of Holy Innocents’ brought home the shot put title with a distance of 12.78 meters. Mount Vernon’s Jessicka Woods won the 400-meter dash in 57.71 seconds, with Nea Sanders of Wesleyan coming in second. Woods also brought home the 300-meter hurdles in 43.88 seconds, with Sanders placing third.
The Class A Private boys’ competition saw Wesleyan’s Matthew Steinback win the pole vault at 3.96 meters.
Westminster boys’ runner Will Wallace won the Class 3A 3,200 in 9:29.34. George Adams of Pace won the 800 in 1:56.12. The Class 3A girls’ competition saw Lovett’s Haley Hooper win the 1,600 in 5:06.27.
The St. Pius X boys’ team won the Class 4A state championship with 81 points. It was the Golden Bears’ second consecutive state crown and fifth overall. Tanner Duffin won the discus throw for St. Pius X with a distance of 57.02 meters and shot put at 20.38 meters, while teammate Matthew Harris earned the long jump crown at 7.18 meters. Matthew Harris won the 300 hurdles in 37.39 seconds and finished second in the 110 hurdles.
Sultan Simms of Woodward won the high jump at 1.98 meters.
The Class 4A girls’ competition saw Maggie Yankovich of St. Pius X win the 1,600 with a time of 5:02.89.