October 12, 2018 - Atlanta: St. Pius defensive back Zachary Ranson (23) celebrates his interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against North Oconee Friday, October 12, 2018, in Atlanta. The defensive score secured St. Pius' 31-21 win over North Oconee. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)
Photo: Jason Getz
Photo: Jason Getz

St. Pius wins AAAA Director’s Cup, ends Marist’s 19-year reign

The longest run of all-sports dominance by a single school in its classification has come to an end. 

Marist, which had won the Regions Director’s Cup every year since the program’s inception in the 1999-2000 school year, finished in third place in AAAA for 2018-2019, ending the War Eagles’ 19-year reign as the top athletic program in its class. 

Marist’s streak was ended by its DeKalb County private-school rival, St. Pius, which won state titles in boys swimming, boys track and field, boys cross country, boys golf, girls soccer and volleyball and finished with 1,272 points. Second-place Blessed Trinity had 1,231 points, followed by Marist (1,209) and Woodward Academy (1,208). Fifth-place North Oconee (1,160) was the top public school in Class AAAA. 

» More: 2018-19 Player of the year winners

The Director’s Cup competition awards points to each school based on its performances in the playoffs and state meets for the GHSA’s 25 sports. Each school’s eight highest-scoring sports for each gender are counted in the standings. 

“Winning the Director’s Cup is such a great honor to all of our players and coaches,” said girls soccer coach Sara Schmitt, who has led St. Pius to nine state titles in the past 11 seasons. “It validates that here at St. Pius X we are building up all of our programs and the community continues to support all student-athletes. I am blessed to be a part of such an amazing athletic department.” 

This year’s Director’s Cup was the sixth for St. Pius and the first for the school since 2014. 

Westminster (AAA) won its classification for the 10th consecutive year and 19th time overall but needed a late rally to extend its streak. The Wildcats trailed Jefferson midway through May but got state championships from its girls soccer, boys soccer and boys golf teams in the final two weeks of the school year to compile a state-best 1,438 points and finish with a comfortable lead over the Dragons, who finished with 1,249 points. Westminster won eight state championships overall. 

Lambert’s streak of four consecutive Director’s Cups in the highest classification ended when the Longhorns finished in second place behind Walton. The Raiders won state championships in boys lacrosse and volleyball and had 1,225 points, 45 more than Lambert. The Director’s Cup was the eighth for Walton, which last won in 2014. 

Starr’s Mill of Class AAAAA won its fourth Director’s Cup in five seasons. The Panthers earned state titles in girls golf, girls lacrosse and boys cross country and finished with 1,286 points, nine more than second-place Buford, which also won three state titles. 

Wesleyan won its third consecutive Director’s Cup in Class A and its ninth overall, the third-most in the history of the competition. The Wolves won state titles in fast-pitch softball, boys and girls soccer and boys cross country. Wesleyan’s 1,318 points were well ahead of second-place Commerce (1,085), the top public-school program in Class A. 

Two schools won a Director’s Cup for the first time. Cambridge won the tightest race, edging out second-place Harrison by four points to take the title in Class AAAAAA. Bremen, which moved down a classification after two years in AAA, rode a strong showing by its spring sports to take the Class AA title over second-place Rockmart. 

REGIONS DIRECTORS CUP 

Final Standings 

(Top 10 in each classification) 

Class AAAAAAA 
1. Walton – 1,225 
2. Lambert – 1,180 
3. North Gwinnett – 1,154 
4. Milton – 1,150 
5. Brookwood – 1,095 
6. West Forsyth – 1,089 
7. Mill Creek – 1,054 
8. South Forsyth – 996 
9. Hillgrove – 979 
10. Roswell – 876 

Top boys program: Hillgrove (584) 
Top girls program: Walton (650) 

Class AAAAAA 
1. Cambridge – 1,119 
2. Harrison – 1,115 
3. Pope – 1,086 
4. Creekview – 987 
5. Richmond Hill – 974 
6. Johns Creek – 912 
7. Lakeside-Evans – 880 
8. Dacula – 838 
9. Valdosta – 828 
10. Alexander – 799 

Top boys program: Pope (567) 
Top girls program: Cambridge (618) 

Class AAAAA 
1. Starr’s Mill – 1,286 
2. Buford – 1,277 
3. McIntosh – 1,168 
4. Carrollton – 1,160 
5. Riverwood – 931 
6. Loganville – 851 
7. Union Grove – 840 
T8. Whitewater – 777 
T8. Decatur – 777 
10. Rome – 761 

Top boys program: Buford (625) 
Top girls program: Starr’s Mill (680) 

Class AAAA 
1. St. Pius – 1,272 
2. Blessed Trinity – 1,231 
3. Marist – 1,209 
4. Woodward Academy – 1,208 
5. North Oconee – 1,160 
6. Columbus – 1,064 
7. Oconee County – 984 
8. Cartersville – 957 
9. Northside-Columbus – 838 
10. Heritage-Catoosa – 784 

Top boys program: St. Pius (659) 
Top girls program: Marist (645) 

Class AAA 
1. Westminster – 1,438 
2. Jefferson – 1,249 
3. Lovett – 1,179 
4. Pace Academy – 1,105 
5. Calhoun – 1,053 
6. Greater Atlanta Christian – 963 
7. North Hall – 940 
8. Pierce County – 875 
9. Dawson County – 808 
10. Pike County – 768 

Top boys program: Westminster (738) 
Top girls program: Westminster (700) 

Class AA 
1. Bremen – 1,078 
2. Rockmart – 965 
3. Jeff Davis – 934 
4. Vidalia – 910 
5. Bleckley County – 864 
6. Elbert County – 841 
7. Fitzgerald – 681 
8. Union County – 657 
9. Thomasville – 656 
10. Callaway – 649 

Top boys program: Bremen (556) 
Top girls program: Bleckley County (523) 

Class A 
1. Wesleyan – 1,318 
2. Commerce – 1,085 
3. Gordon Lee – 1,072 
4. Athens Academy – 1,069 
5. Mount Paran Christian – 1,054 
6. Holy Innocents’ – 1,041 
7. Hebron Christian – 816 
8. Trion – 773 
9. Schley County – 745 
10. Telfair County – 738 

Top boys program: Wesleyan (644) 
Top girls program: Wesleyan (674)

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