By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Photographer | Published June 7, 2012
The girls tennis teams at Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, and St. Pius X High School, Atlanta, captured the state championship last month in their respective divisions with victories over The Westminster School, Atlanta, and Allatoona High School, Acworth, respectively, at the Clayton County International Park, Jonesboro.
For the Blessed Trinity Titans it’s their fourth Georgia High School Association, Class AA, state championship in a row, and the fifth in the past six years. Coached by Alan Keel, Blessed Trinity finished the season with an overall record of 18-2. The Titans were led this season by junior Kourtney Keegan in singles and the doubles teams of senior Allison Kuse and junior Jenna Krakau and senior Morgan Scruggs and junior Sarah Baker.
The St. Pius girls were state runners-up in Class AAA in 2011. This year’s team included singles players Blaine Boaz, Jennifer Leib, Barrett Batson and Hannah Provost. The doubles players included the team of Ansley Jones and Grace Mendzef and another team with Katie Bachman and Rachel Rieder. Caroline McMullen, Audrey Mendzef and Sarah Huff Moore rounded out the rest of the state championship team. Head coach Katie Stilson helped lead the team to a 13-5 record, which included a perfect 5-0 record in the region.
The boys golf team at Marist School, Atlanta, shot 300 as a team to win the Class AAAA state championship. They were led by Jack Larkin, who shot a 72, and John Quirk, who shot 75. The other team members included Matt Bell, Connor Stewart, Mitchell Yates, Joe Quirk, Thomas Davenport, Sean Murphy, Will Maggard, Mark Maggard, Will Duma and Robert Yates. Marist beat Lakeside High School, Evans, by one stroke and Johns Creek High School by three strokes to capture the state title. Ryan Hodges is the team’s head coach.
In the Class A track and field state finals, Our Lady of Mercy High School’s Jordan Sartor earned a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash, and Pinecrest Academy’s Sarah Gehling finished first in the girls pole vault, clearing the pole at a height of 10 feet, 6 inches.
Schools Are State Runners-Up In Soccer, Track, Tennis
Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell: The boys tennis team advanced to the state finals with a come-from-behind victory over Bleckley County of Cochran in the semifinal match. The second doubles team of Zandy Rizzo and Ryan Doran rallied from being down 1-4 in the third set to win the deciding match, 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-4. Also winning in the semifinal match were Matt Marin (second singles) and the first doubles team of Kyle Edwards and Matt Ghering. It’s the second consecutive year Blessed Trinity has lost to The Westminster School in the state finals.
The boys soccer team finished as state runner-up after losing in a 4-2 penalty kick shootout against The Westminster School, following the regulation and overtime periods. According to head coach Don Gillig, it was the finest season in school history for the boys soccer program. They finished the season with an overall record of 19-2-2, scoring a total of 82 goals. The defense gave up 12 goals over the season and earned 14 shutouts. Senior John Collar and sophomore Ameet Kallarackal led the team in goals with 13 each. Junior Nico Mejia and sophomore Michael Piscano led the team in assists with 8 apiece.
The girls soccer team also finished as state runner-up following a 1-0 loss to Greater Atlanta Christian School. Blessed Trinity defeated Greater Atlanta Christian by the same score in an overtime victory to win the state championship in 2011.
In track and field, the girls team secured its highest finish for girls track in school history as Class AA state runner-up. The team’s individual state champions included sophomores Anna Gandolfo and Bailey Willett. Gandolfo finished first in the 3200-meter run with a time of 11:35.86 and second in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:20.02. Willett finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.50 and second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:17.20. Junior Kate Beecham also finished third in the 1600-meter run.
Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Atlanta: The boys soccer team earned a second-place finish in the Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA state final after losing to Stratford Academy of Macon by the score of 7-0. It’s the team’s highest finish in school history. Going into the finals, this year’s team had scored 73 goals, while the defense allowed 14 goals during the season. Holy Spirit went 8-0 in their region. The road to the finals included a 7-0 first-round victory over Trinity Christian School of Sharpsburg, a 2-0 quarterfinals victory over defending state champion Mount de Sales Academy of Macon, and a 2-1 semifinals victory over the Westminster Schools of Augusta. Head coach James Dale said Holy Spirit was the first non-Macon school to make it to the finals since 2006.
Marist School, Atlanta: This year’s girls tennis team won Marist’s 19th consecutive girls tennis region championship and advanced to the state final four for the 23rd consecutive year. The team finished second in the Class AAAA state finals after losing 3-1 to Johns Creek High School in the finals. The team finished with a 22-3 record. The top players were Mary Elizabeth Shutley, Kelsey Williams, Marielle Williams, Erin McDevitt, Jenna Kane, Anna Swensen and Lauren McMurray. Number three singles player Marielle Williams finished the season with an 18-0 record.