106 Georgia schools win state titles in 2021-22 as new sports create opportunities

The Stilwell School of the Arts, a Clayton County performing arts magnet school, won its first GHSA championship this year in the sport of dance, which the GHSA made an official championship sport in 2021. Stilwell also won an unofficial title in 2020, when it was an invitational event and not fully sanctioned. Pictured is the current team with head coach and director of dance Brianna Wiggins-Smart. Stilwell’s students specialize in ballet, modem, jazz, West African, contemporary and Hip-Hop.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Brianna Smart

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The Stilwell School of the Arts, a Clayton County performing arts magnet school, won its first GHSA championship this year in the sport of dance, which the GHSA made an official championship sport in 2021. Stilwell also won an unofficial title in 2020, when it was an invitational event and not fully sanctioned. Pictured is the current team with head coach and director of dance Brianna Wiggins-Smart. Stilwell’s students specialize in ballet, modem, jazz, West African, contemporary and Hip-Hop.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Brianna Smart

A record-high 106 Georgia high schools won 185 team state championships this academic year as new GHSA sports created historic opportunities.

East Paulding and Stilwell School of the Arts, competing in sports the GHSA sanctioned in the past five years, won championships for the first time.

Stilwell won the Class A-2A dance competition, which the GHSA sanctioned in 2021. Stilwell is Clayton County’s magnet school for performing arts and competes only in dance and eSports.

“This achievement means a lot for our school because we are not a traditional high school with sports programs,” said Stilwell coach Brianna Wiggins-Smart, who is a ballet and dance instructor for the school of about 575 students. “We hope that people begin to see the great things that Stilwell is doing in Clayton County and in the state of Georgia.”

East Paulding, a 31-year-old school, won its championship in eSports, which got its GHSA start in 2018. East Paulding won in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a Nintendo fighting game. Another eSports champion, Forsyth Central, earned its first GHSA title since 1997 by winning Rocket League, a vehicular soccer video game.

Flag football, sanctioned in 2020, allowed Southeast Bulloch to win its first sports championship since 2003.

The number of state titles has increased to 185 from 106 in past 10 years, mostly because of adding classifications, but new sports have contributed. The GHSA added slow-pitch softball in 2017, eSports in 2018, flag football in 2020, dance in 2021 and game-day cheer in 2021. The GHSA also added bass fishing in 2021, but fishing champions are awarded to individuals and not schools.

Traditional sports presented their usual opportunities, as well.

Joining East Paulding and Stilwell Arts in winning their schools’ first GHSA titles in 2021-22 were Grovetown (boys basketball), Trinity Christian (football) and Pinecrest Academy (girls soccer).

Spencer’s championship in boys basketball was the Columbus school’s first in any sport since 1973.

Fitzgerald’s football team captured the school’s first boys championship since 1996 and first in football since 1948.

Brooks County’s football title was the school’s first in any sport since 1994, when the Trojans also were football champions.

North Atlanta won girls cross country and girls tennis. Those were the school’s first titles since 2000.

Lumpkin County’s girls basketball team won its school’s first championship in a girls sport.

The schools winning the most championships were familiar. Westminster, a Buckhead private school, led with 11. That ties the state record that it set in 2013.

Following Westminster were fellow private schools Marist (nine), Pace Academy (seven), Lovett (six) and Wesleyan (five). Buford, with five, had the most among public schools. Schools winning four state championships were North Oconee, Lake Oconee Academy, Lassiter and Walton.

2021-22 GHSA champions:

Baseball (7A) – Woodstock

Baseball (6A) – Pope

Baseball (5A) – Loganville

Baseball (4A) – North Oconee

Baseball (3A) – Pike County

Baseball (2A) – Vidalia

Baseball (1A Public) – Metter

Baseball (1A Private) – Wesleyan

Basketball Boys (7A) – Norcross

Basketball Boys (6A) – Grovetown

Basketball Boys (5A) – Tri–Cities

Basketball Boys (4A) – Spencer

Basketball Boys (3A) – Cross Creek

Basketball Boys (2A) – Westside-Augusta

Basketball Boys (1A Public) – Drew Charter

Basketball Boys (1A Private) – Greenforest Christian

Basketball Girls (7A) – Norcross

Basketball Girls (6A) – Lovejoy

Basketball Girls (5A) – Woodward Academy

Basketball Girls (4A) – Marist

Basketball Girls (3A) – Lumpkin County

Basketball Girls (2A) – Elbert County

Basketball Girls (1A Public) – Lake Oconee Academy

Basketball Girls (1A Private) – Mount Paran Christian

Cheerleading (7A) – South Forsyth

Cheerleading (6A) – Creekview

Cheerleading (5A) – McIntosh

Cheerleading (4A) – Jefferson

Cheerleading (3A) – Dawson County

Cheerleading (2A) – Bleckley County

Cheerleading (1A Public) – Gordon Lee

Cheerleading (1A Private) – Mount Paran Christian

Cheerleading (Co-ed) – Northgate

Cross Country Boys (7A) – Mill Creek

Cross Country Boys (6A) – Richmond Hill

Cross Country Boys (5A) – Decatur

Cross Country Boys (4A) – Chestatee

Cross Country Boys (3A) – Westminster

Cross Country Boys (2A) – Pace Academy

Cross Country Boys (1A Public) – Armuchee

Cross Country Boys (1A Private) – Whitefield Academy

Cross Country Girls (7A) – Marietta

Cross Country Girls (6A) – North Atlanta

Cross Country Girls (5A) – St. Pius

Cross Country Girls (4A) – Marist

Cross Country Girls (3A) – Westminster

Cross Country Girls (2A) – Pace Academy

Cross Country Girls (1A Public) – Armuchee

Cross Country Girls (1A Private) – Wesleyan

Dance (7A) – Mill Creek

Dance (5A–6A) – Starr’s Mill

Dance (3A–4A) – West Laurens

Dance (1A–2A) – Stilwell School for the Arts

eSports Fall (Super Smash Bros.) – East Paulding

eSports Spring (Super Smash Bros.) – Brookwood

eSports Fall (Rocket League) – Forsyth Central

eSports Spring (Rocket League) – Forsyth Central

eSports (Madden NFL) – Peach County

eSports (FIFA) – Westminster

eSports Fall (League of Legends) – Northview

eSports Spring (League of Legends) – North Gwinnett

Flag football (1A-4A) – Southeast Bulloch

Flag football (7A) – Hillgrove

Flag football (5A-6A) – Dodge County

Football (7A) – Collins Hill

Football (6A) – Buford

Football (5A) – Warner Robins

Football (4A) – Benedictine

Football (3A) – Cedar Grove

Football (2A) – Fitzgerald

Football (1A Public) – Brooks County

Football (1A Private) – Trinity Christian

Game Day Cheer (7A) – North Gwinnett

Game Day Cheer (5A–-6A) – Lee County

Game Day Cheer (3A-4A) – Mary Persons

Game Day Cheer (1A-2A) – Vidalia

Golf Boys (7A) – Milton

Golf Boys (6A) – Johns Creek

Golf Boys (5A) – Starr’s Mill

Golf Boys (4A) – North Oconee

Golf Boys (3A) – Westminster

Golf Boys (2A) – Lovett

Golf Boys (1A Public) – Lake Oconee Academy

Golf Boys (1A Private) – Prince Avenue Christian

Golf Girls (7A) – Lambert

Golf Girls (6A) – Glynn Academy

Golf Girls (5A) – Ware County

Golf Girls (4A) – North Oconee

Golf Girls (3A) – Pierce County

Golf Girls (2A) – Lovett

Golf Girls (1A Public) – Lake Oconee Academy

Golf Girls (1A Private) – Savannah Christian

Gymnastics (6A-7A) – Buford

Gymnastics (1A-5A) – North Oconee

Lacrosse Boys (6A-7A) – Lambert

Lacrosse Boys (1A-5A) – Lovett

Lacrosse Girls (7A) – Milton

Lacrosse Girls (1A-5A) – Blessed Trinity

Riflery (Open) – Ware County

Soccer Boys (7A) – Harrison

Soccer Boys (6A) – Lassiter

Soccer Boys (5A) – Johnson-Gainesville

Soccer Boys (4A) – Southeast Whitfield

Soccer Boys (3A) – Greater Atlanta Christian

Soccer Boys (2A) – Pace Academy

Soccer Boys (1A Public) – Dalton Academy

Soccer Boys (1A Private) – Atlanta International

Soccer Girls (7A) – West Forsyth

Soccer Girls (6A) – Lassiter

Soccer Girls (5A) – Vacated

Soccer Girls (4A) – Marist

Soccer Girls (3A) – Westminster

Soccer Girls (2A) – Lovett

Soccer Girls (1A Public) – Social Circle

Soccer Girls (1A Private) – Pinecrest Academy

Softball Fast Pitch (7A) – North Gwinnett

Softball Fast Pitch (6A) – Lassiter

Softball Fast Pitch (5A) – Starr’s Mill

Softball Fast Pitch (4A) – Central-Carrollton

Softball Fast Pitch (3A) – Appling County

Softball Fast Pitch (2A) – Heard County

Softball Fast Pitch (1A Public) – ACE Charter

Softball Fast Pitch (1A Private) – Wesleyan

Softball Slow Pitch (Open) – Haralson County

Swimming Boys (7A) – Parkview

Swimming Boys (6A) – Johns Creek

Swimming Boys (4A-5A) – Marist

Swimming Boys (1A-3A) – Westminster

Swimming Girls (7A) – Walton

Swimming Girls (6A) – Lassiter

Swimming Girls (4A-5A) – St. Pius

Swimming Girls (1A–3A) – Westminster

Tennis Boys (7A) – Walton

Tennis Boys (6A) – Johns Creek

Tennis Boys (5A) – Northview

Tennis Boys (4A) – Marist

Tennis Boys (3A) – Westminster

Tennis Boys (2A) – Pace Academy

Tennis Boys (1A Public) – Lake Oconee Academy

Tennis Boys (1A Private) – Wesleyan

Tennis Girls (7A) – Walton

Tennis Girls (6A) – North Atlanta

Tennis Girls (5A) – Northview

Tennis Girls (4A) – Marist

Tennis Girls (3A) – Westminster

Tennis Girls (2A) – Pace Academy

Tennis Girls (1A Public) – Telfair County

Tennis Girls (1A Private) – Wesleyan

Track Boys (7A) – Marietta

Track Boys (6A) – Shiloh

Track Boys (5A) – Maynard Jackson

Track Boys (4A) – Marist

Track Boys (3A) – Westminster

Track Boys (2A) – Pace Academy

Track Boys (1A Public) – Montgomery County

Track Boys (1A Private) – Holy Innocents’

Track Girls (7A) – Lowndes

Track Girls (6A) – Alexander

Track Girls (5A) – Southwest DeKalb

Track Girls (4A) – Marist

Track Girls (3A) – Westminster

Track Girls (2A) – Oglethorpe County

Track Girls (1A Public) – Gordon Lee

Track Girls (1A Private) – Landmark Christian

Volleyball (7A) – Walton

Volleyball (6A) – Buford

Volleyball (5A) – St. Pius

Volleyball (4A) – Marist

Volleyball (3A) – Greater Atlanta Christian

Volleyball (2A/A Public) – Pace Academy

Volleyball (1A Private) – Mount Paran Christian

Wrestling Duals (7A) – Camden County

Wrestling Duals (6A) – Buford

Wrestling Duals (5A) – Cass

Wrestling Duals (4A) – West Laurens

Wrestling Duals (3A) – Rockmart

Wrestling Duals (2A) – Lovett

Wrestling Duals (1A) – Trion

Wrestling Traditional (7A) – Camden County

Wrestling Traditional (6A) – Buford

Wrestling Traditional (5A) – Cass

Wrestling Traditional (4A) – West Laurens

Wrestling Traditional (3A) – Gilmer

Wrestling Traditional (2A) – Lovett

Wrestling Traditional (1A) – Trion