The 2015-16 Georgia Athletic Directors Association Directors Cup has wrapped up and high schools around the state of Georgia now know where they stack up against the competition.
Cartersville placed highest among Bartow County high school athletic programs, finishing 10th in Class 4A. Adairsville finished 23rd in Class 3A, Woodland placed 59th in Class 5A and Cass placed 67th in Class 5A.
The annual award goes to the schools accumulating the most points in all the Georgia High School Association playoffs across all sports.
There are also awards for the highest scoring teams in each gender and awards for the highest scoring schools in each GHSA region.
Each school accumulates points in up to eight sports for each gender. Higher point values, beginning with 100 points for a state championship, are awarded for advancement in each round of the playoffs.
The Canes were second in Region 7-AAAA behind Heritage, which came in eighth place. Cartersville scored big for its state championship in football to earn the maximum 100 points in the sport.
“It’s the highest honor you can get in athletics in the state of Georgia. So we’re proud of the 10th. Of course, we’d like to be better,” Cartersville Athletic Director Darrell Demastus said of the Director’s Cup. “So we moved up one from last year [11th on Class 4A], so it’s an improvement. I would say that one probably came from that football championship. So there was some improvement there. I’m proud of what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished with it. But there’s room for improvement and that’s what we’re looking for.”
The Cartersville boys placed 10th and the girls finished 12th overall. Boys and girls tennis each earned CHS 70 points for their quarterfinal appearances. The baseball team also earned 70 points for reaching the quarterfinals. The girls golf team made the state tournament, earning 54 points, while the volleyball team was awarded 53 points for its second-round appearance.
The girls cross country team earned 45 points with its 15th-place finish at state and the boys team earned 38 points for its 18th-place at state. The boys and girls soccer teams, as well as the boys basketball team, each earned 25 points for reaching the state playoffs. Robby Earick and Jonathan De La Cruz also made the state traditional tournament in wrestling and Earick placed fourth in his weight division, earning the Canes 15 points. Bree Cole’s fifth-place finish in the 1600-meter run at the state track meet and her performance in the 800, as well as London Shaw qualifying for state in the shot put, gave Lady Canes track and field 14 points.
“We came on strong in tennis. I truly feel they’ll be state contenders next year. They have two good groups coming back,” Demastus said. “Our tennis program is going to be strong coming back. Football is going to be strong coming back. Competition cheerleading is going to be strong coming back. Our boys soccer was young. Girls soccer was about half and half. So there will probably be good showings in most of those. Girls basketball and boys basketball were both in a rebuilding year this year. So we have a lot to look forward to.”
The Adairsville High’s improvement in athletics over the last few years is represented in the GADA Director’s Cup Standings. The Tigers went from 73rd in Class 2A in 2010-11, to 61st in Class 2A in 2011-12, then to 53rd in 3A the next year, 32nd in 2013-14, 30th last year and 23rd during the 2015-16 sports season.
“Our athletics had a really good year across the board,” Adairsville Athletic Director Meredith Barnhill said of the program’s Director’s Cup standing. “Our coaches and our kids are working really hard and you can see the payoff.”
Adairsville had two teams reach the state quarterfinals this year, football and girls soccer, earning the Tigers 70 points for each sport. Cheerleading also made the state competition for 54 points, and girls tennis made the second round of state for 53 points. Wrestling, meanwhile, received 36 points as the Tigers had three state traditional tournament qualifiers and Salvador Grimaldo and Daelen Harrison each placed at the state traditional tournament.
Boys cross country earned 26 points for their placement at state, while softball, girls basketball and baseball all earned 25 points for making their respective state tournaments. It was the first time in 58 years the girls basketball team reached the state tournament.
In track and field, Jayson Cantrell placed third in the discus, earning Adairsville 13 points, while Josie Summerville placed fourth for the girls and received 7.2 points for Adairsville.
The girls programs at Adairsville placed 17th, while the boys finished 34th.
“Our boys weight program has always been strong. We have really worked hard in recent years on getting our girls in the weight room and getting them to buy in to what we’ve been doing with the boys over many, many years. They have really taken to it,” Barnhill said of the strong year in girls athletics. “[One day], we had over 40 girls in the weight room. So our coaches have really done a good job of stressing the offseason work and continuing the weight room work. That’s probably been the biggest thing we’ve done to improve our girls athletics. But they’ve put in the time over the summer.
“Again, our coaching staff is exceptional. They work really hard across the board to get all of our kids in the position they need to be in.”
The Woodland athletics program placed 59th in Class 5A this year, right around the 57th slot the Wildcats checked in to last season.
“As an athletic director, I hope my coaches are developing relationships and, hopefully, making our athletes better student-athletes and becoming better men and women,” Woodland Athletic Director John Howard said of the standings. “I feel like that’s a bonus for some schools that achieve a high level of success with their teams, but it’s not something anybody really focuses on. I think it’s something, if it happens, it’s just a bonus.”
The big earner for the Wildcats was wrestling, which saw three athletes (Logan Sims, Cody Cochran and Kyle Gollhofer) win individual state championships and the team place second in both the state traditional and duals seasons. Wrestling earned the ’Cats 90 points.
“We’re always proud of them. It’s been really good since [former coach] Jason Arnold way back when. And when [Adrian Tramutola] took over, he really did a great job,” Howard said of the wrestling program. “We feel like we could have had a few more points if Camden County hadn’t been allowed to play down [a classification] the last few years. We feel like we had two state championships taken away from us that shouldn’t have been. But the kids kept battling back and had another successful year for the wrestling program.”
On the track, the Wildcats were led by Thomas Jolly’s third-place finish at state in the pole vault and Jarvis James’s third-place finish in the long jump. Trevor Knowles also placed ninth in the long jump in Jefferson. Track and field, all together, earned 43.50 points.
“We’ve got two quality track coaches with coach David Holloway and coach Matthew Landolt,” Howard said. “Woodland’s had some really good track kids over the years, a lot of really good individuals that have won state championships in the long jump, high jump, triple jump, throwing. I know we’ve had some really good pole vaulters. So we’re always excited to see what our track program is going to do.”
While there was success in a couple of the boys sports for Woodland and those programs placed 39th in Class 5A, none of the girls teams qualified for state.
“Obviously, with Title IX, we’re always looking out for our girls’ numbers. Sometimes, it’s just the way it falls from year to year. Sometimes you just don’t have the participation,” Howard said. “We have some quality girls programs that were really young. I knew basketball and track and some of our other female sports were real, real young this year. So we’re hoping for bigger and better things from them in the future. We did just come out of a really tough girls region. I think it will benefit us going to the region that we’re going to for our girls sports.”
The Cass athletic programs jumped up seven spots in the standings from last year as the Colonels placed 67th in Class 5A out of 84 teams.
The boys programs earned the points for Cass as wrestling received 83 and boys tennis earned 25 for its state-playoff appearance.
Hunter Quinn won the state championship in his weight class for the wrestling team while 11 of the team’s wrestlers qualified for state and five placed.
The girls programs did not have any teams reach the state playoffs in a tough region, although Hayley Gildersleeve placed ninth in the shot put at the state track and field meet and Kyler Trouten also competed in the pole vault.