Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

St. Pius X High School’s Coach Sara Schmitt, far right, second from rear, guided the girls soccer team to its fifth consecutive Class 4A state championship with a 1-0 victory over archrival Marist School May 13.


A year of state championships for Catholic schools

By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published July 6, 2017

ATLANTA—Archdiocesan and independent Catholic high schools captured individual and team state championships last fall and winter and this past spring in a variety of sports. Four of the schools—Blessed Trinity High School, Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Marist School and St. Pius X High School—won 10 team state championships in 10 different sports. Among the same four schools, 13 individual state championships were captured in nine different sports.

For both team and individual state championships, 26 percent of the state championships were won for fall sports, 32 percent for winter sports and 42 percent for spring sports.

Holy Spirit Preparatory won the school’s first state basketball title. And in winning the Class AAAA state baseball crown, Marist School earned the team’s 13th state championship, the most of any school in Georgia.

Three schools had teams winning successive titles. Blessed Trinity’s volleyball team won its third consecutive state championship, while the girls lacrosse team won its second consecutive. The girls swimming and diving team at Marist School won its third consecutive state championship and the boys tennis team won its fourth consecutive.

The girls soccer team at St. Pius won its fifth consecutive state championship, a first in any soccer classification. The soccer team was also recently named the number two soccer team in USA Today’s national high school soccer rankings.

Four schools, Blessed Trinity, Marist, Our Lady of Mercy High School and St. Pius X High School, were state runner-up in seven different sports.

Following is a school-by-school breakdown of the state champions for the 2016-2017 school year.

Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, Class AAAA

Teams: Volleyball, defeated Woodward Academy, College Park, 3-0; girls lacrosse, defeated Kell High School, Marietta, 11-9.

Individuals: Ben McCoy, cross country, 16:24.11; Vincent Baker, wrestling, 152-pound weight class; Ben McCoy, track and field, 3200-meter run, 9:23.22; Hannah Jones, girls golf, 74.

State runner-up: Baseball; Emma Rose Bagwell, track and field, 800-meter run (2:18.10) and 1600-meter run (5:09.67).


Coach Greg McClaire, far right, took the boys basketball team at Holy Spirit Preparatory School to the Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) state championship in his second season, where they defeated The Heritage School of Newnan, 63-44. It’s the school’s first state basketball title. Photo By Timothy Durski

Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Atlanta, GISA AAA

Teams: Boys basketball, beat The Heritage School, Newnan, 63-44.

Individual: Sabina Grigorian, tennis, 6-3, 6-2.


Under the leadership of Coach Tommy Marshall, far right, the Marist School boys tennis team won its fourth consecutive state championship with a victory over North Oconee High School, Bogart. Marshall is also the school’s athletic director.

Marist School, Atlanta, Class AAAA

Teams: Girls cross country (five of its runners finished in the top 13); girls swimming and diving; boys tennis, defeated North Oconee High School, Bogart, 3-0; baseball, defeated Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, in a best of three series, 1-11, 6-2, 4-3.

Individual: Josie Wirtz, cross country, 19:15.

State runner-up: Boys cross country; girls soccer; boys golf.


Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fayetteville, Class A – Private

State runner-up: Victor Cross, track and field, 300-meter hurdles (personal record of 39.25).


St. Pius X High School, Atlanta, Class AAAA

Teams: Boys cross country; boys swim and dive; girls soccer, defeated Marist School, Atlanta, 1-0.

Individuals: Jack Marsh, wrestling, 170-pound weight class; Jeffrey Durmer, boys swimming, 200-yard (1:40.13) and 500-yard freestyle (4:30.38); Durmer, Ian Grum, Blake Reynolds and Nate Grum, boys swimming, 200-yard medley relay team, (1:33.63); Grant Summers, boys 1-meter diving; Daniel McKenzie, boys golf, 67.

State runner-up: Boys basketball; girls tennis.