By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff photographer | Published June 10, 2016
ATLANTA—Archdiocesan and independent Catholic high schools captured state championships this spring in golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track and field. Here is a school-by-school breakdown of the state champions.
Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell
The girls lacrosse team won its first state championship in school history. The team trailed Marietta’s Kell High School 13-8 with 12 minutes remaining in the game, but rallied with seven goals to win 15-13. Junior Mary Markwordt led the team with seven goals and four assists. Seniors Regan McGovern, Jade Paquette and Mary Deatrick scored four goals, two goals and one goal, respectively, while freshman Kaley Attaway added one more.
The team finished the season undefeated. High school sports website MaxPreps has ranked Blessed Trinity 39th in the nation and third in Georgia.
Markwordt led the team with a single-season record of 82 goals, 189 draw wins and nine interceptions. Senior Payton Fadem led the team with 67 assists, also a school record.
“I am so proud of our team,” said head coach Elizabeth McFarland. “They have worked hard all season and truly believed they could win the state championship. I believe our team won because they had faith in their abilities and each other. They truly left it all on the field.”
McFarland was also thankful for the team’s fan base of students, faculty and families who came out in support, outnumbering Kell fans during the championship match.
Marist School, Atlanta
At the Jones Creek Golf Club in Evans, the boys golf team finished with a score of 302, three strokes better than opponent, Woodward Academy of College Park, to capture its fifth consecutive state championship.
Senior Will Chandler captured the low-medalist for the tournament at two-under 70. This was his second low-medalist in state competition, the first coming in 2013, his freshman year. Chandler, who will be playing for the University of Georgia, Athens, next year leaves Marist as a four-time state champion.
As a team Marist won four tournaments (The Champions, Brookwood Invitational, Region 6AAAA and state) and had four low-medalists (Chandler at the GA-SC Cup and at state, Andrew Lafferty at the regional tournament and Harry White at the Brookwood Invitational).
“One of our goals each year is to be playing our best golf of the season in May,” said head coach Matthew Romano. “Our record indicates that we achieved that goal again. More importantly, we aim to represent Marist and ourselves in a positive light through our actions both on and off the course. I’m proud of the way we carried ourselves and competed throughout the season.”
The boys tennis team defeated Carrollton High School 4-0 at the Clayton County International Park and Tennis Center, Jonesboro, to win its third consecutive state championship.
Marist was led by seniors Kyle Ferrer and Brandon Price, team members since their freshman year. Together they have won over 100 matches at Marist.
During the regular season the team lost two close matches to Westminster Schools and Northview High School, eventual state champions in their respective classifications. However, during the state playoffs they did not drop a set. In the number one singles match Jefferson Dockter defeated his opponent 6-0, 6-2. In number one doubles Ferrer and Chase Krouskos won their match in straight sets 6-0, 6-0. In number two singles Grant Kelly knocked off his opponent 6-3, 6-1, while the number two doubles team of R.C. Dawson and Kiernan Corbett won 6-1, 6-3.
“Our theme for the year was all about team first,” said athletic director and head coach Tommy Marshall. “Special teams are created when your teammate’s success becomes more important than your own. This was a special team.”
Monsignor Donovan High School, Athens
Individual state titles were won in the Class AA, Georgia Independent School Association track and field meet. Senior Jenna Bradberry placed first in the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches), which ties a state record set in 1987. She also placed first in the long jump (16 feet, 9.5 inches). She signed in May to play basketball for the University of West Alabama. Senior Anthony Stokes took first place in shot put (42 feet, 7.75 inches). He has signed to play football at The Citadel.
St. Pius X High School, Atlanta
The boys and girls soccer teams swept the Class AAAA state championship for the fourth consecutive season.
The boys beat previously unbeaten Johnson Gainesville High School 3-0. The score at halftime was 1-0 after a goal from junior midfielder Henry Penter. In the second half, senior captain JR Cozine scored the second goal on a counter attack and junior Kyle McLaughlin scored the final goal to seal the victory.
Winning a fourth consecutive state championship is a first in boys Georgia High School Association soccer. St. Pius also became the first fourth-seed ever to win a state championship.
Senior Austin Fain led the team this season with 18 goals, followed by Cozine with 14. Goalkeeper Jake Beyer returned from injury and played the last nine games of the season, only giving up three goals.
“It’s a wonderful achievement for the team to capture four state championships in a row,” said head coach David O’Shea. “It takes tremendous dedication for players to continue to play at such a high level. The leadership of the seniors was instrumental in this year’s success. After a few disappointing region results, the senior players took it upon themselves to drive the team toward a state championship.”
This is O’Shea’s final season at St. Pius as he takes a new teaching position at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. In his six years at St. Pius the boys soccer team compiled a record of 117-14-5, winning two national championships, five state championships and three region championships.
The girls defeated Marist 2-0, scoring one goal in each half of the match. Junior Caroline Orman scored both goals.
“We came out fast and hard and kept pressure on their back line the whole game,” said St. Pius X head coach Sara Schmitt. “They had chances to score, but our sophomore goal keeper Emory Wegener dominated the box.”
The girls have won four successive state championships, the seventh in the last eight years.
State runner-up results
Five Blessed Trinity High School teams were runners-up to the state champions this spring: Blessed Trinity baseball; boys track and field; girls golf; girls soccer; and girls track and field.
Five Marist School teams were runners-up to the state champions: Marist boys track and field; girls golf; girls soccer; girls tennis; and girls track and field.