Lambert wins overall Directors Cup title

  • Chip Saye
  • GHSF Daily
12:00 a.m. Saturday, June 3, 2017 Sports
Lambert senior Mandy Clarke (5) is guarded by Collins Hill junior Natasha Anglin (13) during the first half of their quarterfinal basketball game at Lambert High School on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. SPECIAL/Daniel Varnado

The Georgia High School Association added a seventh classification in the 2016-17 school year for the state’s largest schools, but the top athletic program in the top class remained the same.

Lambert, which captured Regions Directors Cups in Class AAAAAA the past two years, made it three in a row by winning the new Class AAAAAAA championship in the GHSA’s all-sports competition.

The Longhorns won state championships in boys cross country, boys tennis, girls soccer, girls golf and cheerleading and finished with 1,384 points, 184 more than second-place Mill Creek. Lambert became the first school to win three consecutive Directors Cups in the highest class since Walton in 2009.

The Directors Cup competition awards points to each school based on its performances in the playoffs and state meets for the GHSA’s 24 sports. Each school’s eight highest-scoring sports for each gender are counted in the standings.

“Winning the Directors Cup once again is a true testament to competitiveness and longevity,” said Lambert girls soccer coach Scott Luthart, whose team won its first state title this season. “Our school has only been around for eight years, and we have already earned three consecutive Directors Cups and 23 state championships. Those kinds of statistics can’t be achieved without very talented athletes coming through our various programs, but the leadership and guidance they receive from the coaches within our athletic department and our administration goes a long way towards a winning program.”

Lambert was one of four public schools to win a Directors Cup this year, a first in the 18-year history of the competition. Pope won its second championship in four years, and Buford and Bleckley County were first-time winners.

Pope pulled out the narrowest victory in any classification, claiming the Class AAAAAA crown when its baseball team beat Lee County for the state championship in the final athletic competition of the school year. It was Pope’s only state title, but the Greyhounds had seven teams record top-four finishes. Pope finished with 1,149 points, narrowly edging out Johns Creek (1,143.5).

Class AAAAA Buford won the Directors Cup on the strength of six state championships and four other top-four finishes. The Wolves got state titles in wrestling, volleyball, softball, boys basketball, girls basketball and girls track. Second-place Starr’s Mill won the title the past two seasons.

The GHSA moved most of the smaller private schools to Class A in the most recent reclassification, and Bleckley County took advantage of their absence in AA. The Royals won state titles in boys and girls cross country and boys and girls tennis and became the first public school to win the Cup in AA since Cartersville in 2002.

The other classifications were won by private-school powers.

Marist won Class AAAA championships in boys tennis, boys track, baseball, girls cross country and girls swimming to claim its 18th consecutive Directors Cup. Westminster, which finished with a state-best 1,428 points, took home seven Class AAA titles (boys tennis, boys lacrosse, boys soccer, volleyball, girls cross country, girls tennis and girls soccer) and won the Directors Cup for the 17th time in 18 seasons. Class A champion Wesleyan, which had a streak of five consecutive Directors Cups snapped when it moved to AA for the 2012-13 school year, reclaimed the title when it returned to Class A this year. The Wolves won state championships in girls basketball, girls soccer and girls golf.

REGIONS DIRECTORS CUP

Final Standings

(Top 15 in each classification)

Class AAAAAAA

1. Lambert – 1,348

2. Mill Creek – 1,164

3. Walton – 1,099

4. Brookwood – 1,087

5. North Gwinnett – 1,008.5

6. South Forsyth – 1,007

7. Hillgrove – 871.5

8. Lassiter – 870

9. Milton – 843.5

10. West Forsyth – 842

11. Grayson – 814.5

12. Peachtree Ridge – 800

13. Etowah – 770

14. East Coweta – 759

15. Woodstock – 750.5

Class AAAAAA

1. Pope – 1,149

2. Johns Creek – 1,143.5

3. Cambridge – 1,104

4. Allatoona – 1,085

5. Harrison – 1,054.5

6. Creekview – 925

7. Richmond Hill – 893

8. Alpharetta – 863

9. Alexander – 839

10. Northview – 808

11. Glynn Academy – 729

12. Dalton – 728.5

13. Lee County – 687

14. Lakeside-Evans – 675.5

15. Effingham County – 662

Class AAAAA

1. Buford – 1,333

2. Starr’s Mill – 1,315.5

3. McIntosh – 1,180

4. Carrollton – 1,090.5

5. Union Grove – 893

6. Whitewater – 875

7. Veterans – 835

8. Riverwood – 760.5

9. Ware County – 728

10. Grady – 717

11. Chamblee – 707

12. Flowery Branch – 693

13. Kell – 674

14. Decatur – 623

15. Ola – 609

Class AAAA

1. Marist – 1,359

2. Blessed Trinity – 1,254

3. St. Pius – 1,208.3

4. Woodward Academy – 1,094

5. Columbus – 1,053

6. Jefferson – 968

7. North Oconee – 941

8. Oconee County – 899.5

9. Northside-Columbus – 853.9

10. West Laurens – 718.5

11. LaGrange – 692

12. Mary Persons – 690.3

13. Heritage-Catoosa – 685

14. Cartersville – 657

15. Chapel Hill – 600.5

Class AAA

1. Westminster – 1,428

2. Lovett – 1,139.5

3. Calhoun – 1,129

4. Pace Academy – 1,035

5. Greater Atlanta Christian – 1,023

6. North Hall – 943

7. Pierce County – 933

8. Morgan County – 821

9. Pike County – 736

10. Dawson County – 652.5

11. Bremen – 636.5

12. Peach County – 633

13. Hart County – 589

14. Crisp County – 583

15. Cook – 578

Class AA

1. Bleckley County – 937.5

2. Vidalia – 893.5

3. Elbert County – 817.5

4. Rabun County – 803.5

5. Fitzgerald – 771

6. Dodge County – 754.4

7. Model – 752

8. Rockmart – 698.4

9. Jeff Davis – 657

10. Pepperell – 632

11. Berrien – 629

12. Banks County – 601

13. Lamar County – 572

14. St. Vincent’s Academy – 560

15. Harlem – 556.5

Class A

1. Wesleyan – 1,186

2. Holy Innocents’ – 1,084

3. Gordon Lee – 975

4. Telfair County – 817

5. Darlington – 816.5

6. Athens Academy – 800

7. Commerce – 799.5

8. Mount Paran Christian – 788.5

9. Stratford Academy – 726

10. Landmark Christian – 721

11. First Presbyterian – 703

12. Trion – 658

13. Brookstone – 647

14. Irwin County – 625

15. Savannah Christian – 612