Lambert athletic director Drew Ferrer marvels at the high school careers of Lady Longhorns golfers Lauren Lightfritz and Kayley Marschke and girls swimmer Katherine Aikins. The trio of seniors did this school year what they’ve accomplished every single other school year – winning a state championship. Their résumés are perfect.
Lightfritz, Marschke and Aikins contributed to two of Lambert’s four state championships this school year to help the Longhorns win a second consecutive Regions Directors Cup in the highest classification.
After the school’s girls and boys golf teams finished first and second, respectively, at the state championships Monday, the Longhorns ended the 2015-16 school year with 1,194 points, ahead of Walton (1,112.5), whose baseball team plays in the state championship series this weekend. Still, the most points Walton could hope for is 1,187.5 by winning the baseball state title.
“You don’t shoot to try to win it every year,” Ferrer said, “but I think it’s a neat thing to see in the end as an athletic department as a culminating effort of all our programs.”
It takes impressive depth to win the all-sports competition. Lambert won four team state titles (cheerleading, girls swimming, boys lacrosse, girls golf), eight region titles and had just three teams not reach postseason play. The Longhorns finished first in boys’ sports with 636 points and third in girls with 558, a nice reversal, Ferrer noted, from last season when Lambert finished first in girls and third in boys.
Overall, it was an encouraging year for the entire county. Every public school athletic program improved in the Directors Cup standings from last season. In AAAAAA, South Forsyth went from 21st to 12th, West Forsyth went from 35th to 16th and North Forsyth went from 49th to 44th. Forsyth Central improved from 39th to 20th in AAAAA. Pinecrest Academy essentially stayed the same finishing 38th in Class A.
The county was especially competitive in girls’ sports. Three county schools finished in the top 6 in AAAAAA in Lambert (third), South (fourth) and West (sixth). Central finished 13th in AAAAA.
With all of the county’s public school athletic programs set to join Region 5 in the newly created AAAAAAA next school year, Ferrer sees this year’s Directors Cup standings as another sign of the compelling competition in store for next season.
“We’ve got a great county, great region,” Ferrer said. “We want to see all our schools do well and push each other to do better and better.”