Marist wins 19th-straight Director’s Cup; Alpharetta, Elbert Co. take home first

Marist volleyball helped the War Eagles earn another Director's Cup.

The Regions Bank Director’s Cup is an award presented by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association that is given to the school in each GHSA classification that has shown exceptional performance in all sports. The Director’s Cup takes into account all 25 GHSA sports when determining their standings. For each gender, each school’s top eight sports are counted toward the Director’s Cup standings. Since the establishment of the award during the 1999-2000 school year, Marist has won the Director’s Cup every single year in its classification. Another school that has asserted its dominance in the Director’s Cup through the years is Lambert. The Longhorns have won the Cup four years in a row in their classification. The Director’s Cup winners this year also featured two schools that took home the title for the first time in school history, Alpharetta and Elbert County. This year’s winners included Lambert in AAAAAAA, Alpharetta in AAAAAA, Starr’s Mill in AAAAA, Marist in AAAA, Westminster in AAA, Elbert County in AA and Wesleyan in A.

AAAAAAA

By Jordan Gold

Lambert took home the Director’s Cup to win its fourth title in a row. The Longhorns’ total score was 1,278, with their boys teams scoring 645 and their girls teams scoring 633. Lambert’s boys soccer and lacrosse teams both won state championships, earning them 100 points each, respectively. They also finished second in the state for girls cheerleading, girls swimming, girls tennis and boys cross country, which earned them 90 points each. Finishing second place in this class was Milton. The Eagles finished 131 points behind Lambert. Milton’s second-place finish was due in part to winning state championships in boys cross country, girls lacrosse and coed cheerleading. Milton also reached the state championship in girls soccer, but did not win. The Eagles were far more successful this year than last year in the Director’s Cup, moving from ninth place during the 2016-17 season to second place this year. Rounding out the top three in the AAAAAAA class was South Forsyth. The War Eagles were very successful in boys tennis and girls cheerleading, capturing the state championship in both. South Forsyth also had success in boys soccer and girls cross country, finishing second in both. With the 2017-18 school year finished it will be interesting to see if Lambert can continue its control of the AAAAAAA class next year and win its fifth Director’s Cup in a row.

AAAAAAA Top 10
1. Lambert (1278 points)
2. Milton (1147 points)
3. South Forsyth (1119 points)
4. Walton (1112 points)
5. North Gwinnett (1089 points)
6. Brookwood (1055 points)
7. Mill Creek (1019 points)
8. Hillgrove (965 points)
9. East Coweta (924 points)
10. Lassiter (893 points)

AAAAAA

By Mark Shutley

Alpharetta won this year’s Director’s Cup for the first time in school history with 1,087 points overall despite only winning one state championship, which was accomplished by the girls soccer team. Alpharetta’s victory can also be attributed to the girls volleyball team, which finished second, and the boys track, swimming, baseball and soccer teams, which all earned more than 80 points. This was a huge jump in the standings for Alpharetta, after finishing eighth in the Director’s Cup in 2016-17 and 24th in 2015-16. The Alpharetta boys teams finished second with 547 points behind Allatoona, which had 586. The girls team finished sixth with 540 points. Rounding out the top five overall were Allatoona, Johns Creek, Harrison and Pope. Last year’s champion, Pope, took a slight dip in the standings. Pope was still just 29 points away from second place in what was a very close finish at the top this year, with the smallest distribution between the first- and fifth-place finishers in six years. Third-place Johns Creek, fifth-place Pope, seventh-place Cambridge and 16th-place Northview all tied for the most state championships this year with two each.

AAAAAA Top 10
1. Alpharetta (1087)
2. Allatoona (1069)
3. Johns Creek (1058)
4. Harrison (1055)
5. Pope (1040)
6. Creekview (995)
7. Cambridge (981)
8. Richmond Hill (897)
9. Glynn Academy (886)
10. Alexander (853)

AAAAA

By Mark Shutley

Starr’s Mill won this year’s Director’s Cup with a staggering 1,355 points, the second-most in Georgia for any classification. Both the boys teams and girls teams finished first overall, with the boys and girls golf teams winning the state championship and boys track and cross country and girls lacrosse and swimming finishing second. This is Starr’s Mills’ sixth-straight finish in the top three overall and its third first-place finish in the last four years. Rounding out the top five were Buford, Carrollton, McIntosh and Flowery Branch. Last year’s champion, Buford, fell just one spot to second overall in just its second year in the AAAAA region. Buford had six teams win state championships in 2016-17 but only three teams win this year, which were boys wrestling and girls basketball and track. Boys basketball and girls softball, volleyball and track all failed to repeat as champions in 2017-18, although girls volleyball finished as the runner-up. Flowery Branch made the biggest jump into the top five, earning 264 more points since its 12th place finish last year. Second-place Buford and fourth-place McIntosh tied for the most championships this year with three each.

AAAAA Top 10
1. Starr’s Mill (1355)
2. Buford (1274)
3. Carrollton (1183)
4. McIntosh (1165)
5. Flowery Branch (957)
6. Veterans (784)
7. Whitewater (771)
8. Union Grove (770)
9. Chamblee (744)
10. Riverwood (742)

AAAA

By Lanie Angel

In Class AAAA, Marist added another Director’s Cup to its winnings with a total of 1,349 points, making this the 19th-consecutive Cup win for the War Eagles. Marist girls volleyball, soccer, and cross country won state and Marist boys cross country won state during the 2017-18 season. The War Eagles football team placed second. Marist athletics have been able to garner a significant amount of championships over the past few years. The 2008-09 school year stands as a historical year for Marist. In 2009, Marist won nine Georgia state championships (boys cross country, girls cross country, softball, boys swimming and diving, girls swimming and diving, boys tennis, girls tennis, girls soccer and boys soccer), which broke the state record and the previous record held by Marist. The girls tennis team has won a total of 22 state championships and has been runner-up nine times. The girls cross country team has won 16 state championships, and baseball has won 13. Blessed Trinity placed second with 1297 votes, and St. Pius X placed third with 1237 votes. St. Pius has been Director’s Cup Champion numerous times in AAA before moving up. This order has been the top three schools in AAAA for the past two years.

AAAA Top 10:
1. Marist (1349)
2. Blessed Trinity (1297)
3. St. Pius X (1237)
4. Woodward Academy (1189)
5. North Oconee (1136)
6. Columbus (988)
7. Jefferson (962)
8. West Laurens (787)
9. Cartersville (768)
10. Northside-Columbus (689)

AAA

By Lanie Angel

In class AAA, Westminster added its 17th Director’s Cup win with a total of 1,477 points to end the 2017-18 season. Westminster has received the Georgia Athletic Directors’ Association Directors Cup in its respective classification in 17 of the 18 years it has been awarded, from 2000–08 and 2010–17. The Wildcats were champions in girls tennis, cross country, swimming and soccer and in boys cross country, swimming, soccer and golf. They were runner-up in baseball, boys track and tennis, and volleyball. Lovett came in second place, and Calhoun came in third for the second-consecutive year.

AAA Top 10
1. Westminister (1477)
2. Lovett (1193)
3. Calhoun (1149)
4. Greater Atlanta Christian (1073)
5. Pace Academy (1003)
6. Pierce County (942)
7. North Hall (923)
8. Morgan County (817)
9. Bremen (740)
10. Pike County (721)

AA

By Alex Hill

Elbert County was the winner of this years Director’s Cup in AA with 933 points. Its girls were third overall with 424 points, and its boys were second overall with 509 points and a state championship in track. Vidalia got second place with 891 points, and Rockmart got third with 876 points. In 2016-17 Elbert County got third place overall with 817.5 points. Its girls got sixth place overall with 380.5 points, and its boys got fourth overall with 437 points. The boys finished with two second-place finishes, one in wrestling and one in baseball. Last year’s winner of the Director’s Cup was Beckley County with 937.5 Points. This year Bleckley County dropped down to fourth place with 832 points.

AA Top 10
1. Elbert County (933)
2. Vidalia (891)
3. Rockmart (876)
4. Bleckley County (832)
5. Dodge County (787)
6. Jeff Davis (749)
7. Banks County (725)
8. Rabun County (717)
9. Armuchee (705)
10. Fitzgerald (699)

A

By Alex Hill

Wesleyan won this years Director’s Cup with 1,240 points in the state’s lowest classification. Its boys had 579 points, and its girls had 661 points. Three of its girls teams won state championships, in softball, basketball and track. The boys had a second-place finish in wrestling and third-place finish in swimming as their highest finishes. Wesleyan also won the Director’s Cup last year, beating out Holy Innocents’ by a little more than 100 points. Last year, its girls got first overall with 743 points, winning state championships in basketball, soccer and golf, and state runner-ups in track, tennis, softball and cross country. The boys got fourth overall with 443 points and a second-place finish in wrestling. The 2015-16 winner of the Director’s Cup was Commerce. In 2016-17 Commerce finished in seventh place and then jumped back up to third place at the end of this year.

A Top 10
1. Wesleyan (1,240)
2. Gordon Lee (1,051)
3. Commerce (985)
4. Holy Innocents’ (983)
5. Athens Academy (910)
6. Brookstone (888)
7. Telfair County (811)
8. First Presbyterian (809)
9. Darlington (756)
10. Mt. Paran Christian (747)