The 2021-22 high-school sports season came to a spectacular conclusion for Savannah Area schools, with a golf team and individual golfer winning state championships. Furthermore, multiple track and field athletes competed at state meets and brought home gold medals. Here is a roundup of teams who brought home state championships in the past school year.
Benedictine GHSA Class AAAA Football Champions
With a 35-28 win against Carver-Columbus on December 10, 2021, in Atlanta, Benedictine Military won the GHSA Class AAAA state football championship.
Benedictine's football team hadn't won a state championship since 2016, and it's the third since 2014.
Holden Geriner, a senior quarterback, committed to Auburn, led the Cadets. Geriner completed nearly 40 passes for almost 400 yards and four touchdowns.
Za'Quan Bryan scored two touchdown receptions. Justin Thomas and Kam Edge both had touchdown receptions. Early in the game, Thomas would add a rushing touchdown.
The Cadets won their 13th straight game to close out the season at Center Parc Stadium.
The Habersham School Lady Patriots volleyball team won the Georgia Association of Private & Parochial School state champion for the fourth and sixth time in the previous seven years.
On October 16th, 2021, the Habersham School won the 2021 GAPPS DI-A championship, defeating Oakwood Christian Academy 3-0 in a very close semi-final match with scores of 25-23, 25-23, 25-23, and then Veritas Academy from Savannah, Georgia 3-0 by scores of 25-19, 25-13, 25-15, in the finals.
Richmond Hill High School Boys
After earning fourth in the 2020 Georgia High School Association, Cross Country state meet, a year later.
On November 6, 2021, the Richmond Hill High School Boy's Cross Country team won the school's first-ever Cross Country State Championship at Carrolton, Georgia.
The triumph ended a six-year streak in which Richmond Hill had finished sixth or better, including a fourth-place result the previous year, thanks to sophomores Noah Sybert and Memphis Rich's fourth and fifth-place performances.
The Wildcats dominated the scoring with 105 points against second-place finishers Alexander's 168, demonstrating outstanding depth.
Noah Sybert had a time of 16:25.82, followed by Rich's fifth-place finish with a time of 16:26.31. Five seniors came in second and third, respectively, to ensure the victory. Ravi Reed (16:50.96) came in 16th, Sterling Bastian (17:27.05) came in 36th, and Garrison Gilbert (1:33.71) came in 44th. The top five finishes made up the point total for the win.
Clay Target Sport Shooting
On Friday morning, November 19, 2022, in windy conditions on both days of competition at the 2021 Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) Sport Shooting State Championship.
The Benedictine Clay Sport Shooting team did not falter and won the state title for the second year. The Cadet clay sports shooting team was seniors Jackson Schaaf, Pete Hodge, Jake Kinlaw, Walker Brooks, and freshman Drake Cooper.
St. Andrew's School
St. Andrew's won the Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA state championship, defeating previous champion John Milledge 49-47.
On Saturday night, February 26, 2022, the Lions won the GISA Class AAA championship game at Georgia Southwestern in Americus, closing with a 25-4 season.
It was St. Andrew's first state victory since 2004 and their fourth overall.
In Saturday's championship game, Zyere Edwards capped off a record-breaking season with 27 points. Edwards scored the most points in a season and made the most three-pointers in a season at the institution.
In the win, Kaleb Lofton contributed 11 points.
Gaby Van Brunt, a junior swimmer from St. Andrew's, made waves again at the Georgia Independent Schools Association state championships swim meet on January 30 at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center. This is the second year that Van Burnt has brought home three gold medals.
Van Burnt has eight gold medals (first-place finishes) in her high school career, including breaking her own GISA state records in the 50 free (23.43), 100 fly (55.48), and 100 back (56.03) this year, which she has set every year she has participated. The junior shattered her personal best and the GISA record in the 50 Freestyle.
On the weekend of February 5, 2022, the GHSA Swimming and Diving Championships were held at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center, where local student-athletes created a name for themselves. Aaron Seymour of Savannah Arts Academy won two gold medals, while Stephen Jones of Richmond Hill won one.
Savannah Arts Academy's Aaron Seymour would have a big day in the pool, earning a pair of Class A-AAA state titles. He won the 50-yard freestyle with a timing of 20.26 seconds. With 48.74 seconds, he also won state in the 100-meter backstroke for the third year in a row.
In the Boys 500 Yard Freestyle, Richmond Hill's Stephen Jones won the Class AAAAAA state championship. Jones completed the race in 4:33.85 seconds. Jones also finished third in the 100-yard butterfly, clocking a time of 48.85 seconds.
Jacob Galindez South Effingham High School
At the Macon Centreplex on Friday night, February 11, 2022, South Effingham senior Jacob Galindez completed a postseason sweep with a second to spare, pinning Cambridge's Hunter Keane at 5:59 of the third period to win a Class AAAAAA traditional state championship in the 113-pound class.
Galindez (42-10) won the region, then Sectionals, before winning all three state matches by a pin.
Habersham School Girls
On May 3, 2022, the Habersham Varsity Girls Tennis team defeated Grace Christian 3-1 to win the Georgia Association of Private & Parochial Schools (GAPPS) DI Team State Championship. The Patriots won their respective matchups, led by individual singles state champion Lucy Kelly and doubles state champions Anna Thompson and Erin Lambert. The second doubles team of Caroline Mouchet and Georgia Reed, who came from behind to win their third set tiebreaker 11-9 to clinch the championship for the Patriots.
On May 17, at Governor's Towne Club in Acworth, Ga., Savannah Christian sophomore Mary Miller shot 67-65 to finish 12-under par for 36 holes, leading the Red Raiders to a Georgia High School Association Class A state golf championship.
Miller, Ava Cottis, and Ryland Hurd were part of the Savannah Christian team that won by seven strokes. After both rounds, Miller and Cottis' scores tallied toward the team competition, with Cottis finishing T9 with rounds of 79-79.
Richmond Hill High School
GSHA 6A Individual Girl Low Medalist
Hannah Barrett of Richmond Hill High School won the Georgia High School Association Class 6A girls golf individual state title. Barrett, a junior, helped the Lady Wildcats finish fourth in the GHSA state competition on Tuesday at the Jekyll Island Golf (Indian Mounds) course in Brunswick, Georgia.
Track and Field
GHSA and GISA gold medals were won by 15 Savannah area prep track and field competitors.
The first gold medal was awarded to Memorial Day School sophomore Gigi Williams at the Georgia Independent Schools Association on April 22, 2022. Gigi won the long jump with a score of 15-07.75.
On the first day of the Georgia High School competition on Thursday, May 12, 2022, two athletes repeated as state champions. Cameron Edwards of South Effingham won the boy's GHSA triple jump with a leap of 47-01.50 in Class 6A. The following 14 winners were from various events during Georgia High School Association's track and field.
Then, in the Class A Private high jump, Savannah Christian's Maggie Byrd successfully defended her title and won the girl's event with a leap of 5 feet 4 inches.
D'Ante Bass of Windsor Forest High School, a Georgetown basketball pledge, won the GHSA Class 3A high jump on Thursday with a leap of 6'6".
Savannah area track competitors earned four event titles and an additional 11 gold medals on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Lyric Olson won the 800m in 2:11.7 seconds. Margaret Wade then took first place in the 3200m with a timing of 10:05.76. Savannah Arts Academy Lady Panther teammates won first place in Class 3A events.
The Woodville Tompkins Relay team of Jalil Coast, Jordan Haskell, Nate Anderson, and Alex Loyd won gold in the GHSA Class 2A boys' 4x400 relay with a timing of 3:25.73.
Jamari McIvory of Savannah Christian Preparatory School took first place in the GHSA Class1A Private classification 400m boy's event with a time of 48.49.
Calvary Day School's 4X200 team was also the first to reach the finish line and collect gold medals. With a time of 1:27.94, the group of Jamari Brooks, Donovan Johnson, DeAndre Singleton, and Barry Young won.
Optim Orthopedics supports Benedictine Military School, Calvary Day School, Richmond Hill High School, Savannah Country Day, South Effingham High School, and St. Vincent's athletics. Benedictine Military School's team doctor is Dr. David Sedory. Dr. David Palmer is the team doctor for Calvary Day School, South Effingham, and Richmond Hill. Savannah Country Day and St. Vincent's team doctor is Dr. Thomas Alexander. Remember, Optim Orthopedics gets you back into the game!