By MARY BETH DEVER, Special Contributor | Published June 3, 2004
While cultivating academic excellence is at the forefront of Blessed Trinity High School’s endeavors, there is an unmistakable passion for any and all things athletic. The school, which has just graduated its second senior class, has won four state championships this year and had seven region championships and five region runner-ups. Of 19 teams competing in varsity-level sports, 18 have gone on to participate at state-level tournaments.
According to Ricky Turner, BT’s athletic director, “I don’t know of any other school this young that can hold up these kinds of numbers. These kids have shown what they are made of. They want to win and they want to win all the time!”
The Georgia Athletic Directors Association (GADA) awarded Turner with this year’s Dodge Director’s Cup as Division AA overall best athletic program in the state. The school also won the organization’s Division AA for the best girls’ program in the state (girls’ sports were responsible for three of the four state championships). This level of athletic power and talent has been achieved in the last three years since the school starting participating at the varsity level.
The Dodge Director’s Cup was started five years ago as a measuring stick for athletic programs throughout the state and is determined by an accumulative point system. According to GADA representatives, Tommy Marshall, athletic director of Marist and Tim Vick, Greater Atlanta Christian’s athletic director, BT’s showing this year has been a great accomplishment for the school’s student-athletes, coaches, administration and Ricky Turner.
“This is an elite award in the state of Georgia for athletics,” said Marshall.
“The school has just had a tremendous year,” said Vick. “In our field Ricky Turner is a class act, and we have a lot of respect for him.”
Turner, who is also the head varsity football coach for the BT Titans, accepted the award during the school’s awards assembly. While addressing the graduates, he reminded them that the Director’s Cup was a result of their dedication. “I told you four years ago that you would set the standard for the rest to follow. This award is proof of that.”
Without any doubt, Blessed Trinity’s athletic program’s season of grace and reward was this spring. Three girls’ teams set the bar for future BT teams to reach.
The girls’ golf team took the state championship title for the second year in a row, thanks to the efforts of Brooke Alexander, Ashley Barbee and Rachel Rogers.
The girls’ tennis team proved that while they were the best this year, they will also be a team to watch in the future; all but two of the members will be returning next year. The team consisted of Allyn Mueller, Tricia Hanson, Katie Slade, Mary Claire Slade, Alison Woodbury, Rachel Hampton, Colleen Storey, Lauren Dempsey, Courtney Pullman and Nicole Pinsonneault.
The girls’ soccer team was the last spring sport to bring home the state title, and the team traveled to Savannah to claim their title. Team members included Taylor Schaefer, Annie Craig, Lauren Craig, Telia Kapetyn, Laura Buckman, Traci Coleman, Jessica Hobt, Molly Calpin, Lauren Atkinson, Ali Coad, Jessica Binkowski, Katie Irrgang, Kara Kasten, Mary Kolodziej, Alex Thon, Ashley Marks, Elyse Stone, Kristin Hennek and Kristin Nelson.
During the fall, the BT boys’ cross-country team took home the state title. The team consisted of Greg Johnson, Asher Hannah, Brian Bobb, Chase Oliver, Casey Gramling, Chris DiLuzio and Josh Houser.
The school’s coaches have also been recognized for their outstanding skills in their respective sports. Four of the head varsity coaches have been named Coach of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA): cross-country coach, Al Stasko; girls’ golf coach, Michael Henry; girls’ tennis coach, Chantal Gourlay; and Megan Ryan, head coach of the girls’ varsity soccer team. Four of Blessed Trinity’s assistant coaches have also been recognized by the GACA as Assistant Coach of the Year: baseball coach Brad Kolowich, cross-country coaches Brad Hendrickson and Ann Broderick, and assistant coach for girls’ soccer, Stori Shaw.