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Titles, dynasties, close calls: Recapping the 2020-21 high school sports year

Trinity Christian coach Verlon Dorminey celebrates after winning the Class 3A state title with a 25-22 win over Chaminade Madonna on Wednesday night.
Trinity Christian coach Verlon Dorminey celebrates after winning the Class 3A state title with a 25-22 win over Chaminade Madonna on Wednesday night. (News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Goodbye, high school sports season. Hello, back to normal.

A school year that began late and amidst the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic has reached its end for area teams.

Last August, that didn’t seem realistic. But it happened.

And by the time the 2021-22 school season begins in three months, limited crowds, mandatory face coverings and social distancing will all — optimistically — be a memory.

But before looking ahead, let’s take a look back on the year that high school sports started during a global pandemic and ended with things slowly getting back to normal.

Total team state championships this school year: 21.

Total individual state championships this school year: 52.

Championships in the major team sports were challenging to come by. There were three girls soccer state champions (Bartram Trail, Ponte Vedra, St. Johns Country Day), two in volleyball (Bishop Kenny, Ponte Vedra) and one in football (Trinity Christian).

Titles in the other major team sports were elusive.

Baseball and football had a pair state runners-up (St. Johns Country Day and Fleming Island in baseball; Bolles and University Christian in football). Softball had a state runner-up (University Christian). So, too, did boys basketball (Impact Christian) and boys soccer (St. Johns Country Day).

The bulk of the team state championships came in girls sports, with area teams winning 16 of those, six of those coming in competitive cheerleading.

Spring sports saw the greatest number of individual championships, with 26 of those.

Nease runner Rheinhardt Harrison was the most successful individual athlete, winning state championships in cross country, as well as sweeping the 1600 and 3200 runs in track and field. Parker’s Aaron Bell was a double champ in track and field, claiming the 100 and 200 sprints.

A good portion of the state championship-winning Bolles cross country team also helped the Bulldogs grab the track and field title, too. Four members of Trinity Christian’s state championship football squad teamed up to win the 400 relay in the Class 1A state track and field meet.

Dynasties continued, too.

• The Bolles boys swimming team won its 33rd consecutive state championship, increasing its national mark. The Bulldogs broke the mark of 29 straight championships of Punahou (Hawaii) in 2017.

• The Bolles girls won their 30th straight state title.

• The Ponte Vedra volleyball team won back-to-back state titles in dominant fashion, going 27-0, running their winning streak to 36 straight games. Of those 36 straight wins, 35 of those have come by sweep. No other area volleyball team has won consecutive titles.

• The St. Johns Country Day girls added their 10th straight soccer championship.

• The Ponte Vedra boys won their fourth straight state golf championship.

• The Bolles girls cross country team set the state record in winning their 12th team state championship last November. The 18 points in the Class 2A meet was a state-low in that event by either a boys or a girls team.

What a season it was. Now, let’s take a look at all of the team and individual state champions from the 2020-21 school year.

Fall sports

Team championships

Sport, Team, Class

Boys golf: Ponte Vedra, Class 2A

Boys swimming: Bolles, Class 1A

Football: Trinity Christian, Class 3A

Girls cross country: Bolles, Class 2A

Girls swimming: Creekside, Class 4A

Girls swimming: Bolles, Class 1A

Volleyball: Bishop Kenny

Volleyball: Ponte Vedra

Individual championships

Sport, Athlete, School, Classification, Event (if applicable)

Cross country: Rheinhardt Harrison, Nease, Class 4A

Girls swimming: Micayla Cronk, Flagler Palm Coast, Class 4A, 100 free and 200 free

Girls swimming: Creekside, 200 medley relay, Class 4A

Girls swimming: Fleming Island, 200 medley relay, Class 3A

Girls swimming: Bolles, 200 free relay team, Class 1A

Girls swimming: Bolles, 400 free relay team, Class 1A

Boys swimming: Creekside, 200 free relay, Class 4A

Boys swimming: Bartram Trail, 200 medley relay, Class 4A

Boys swimming: Bolles, 200 medley relay team, Class 1A

Boys swimming: Bolles, 200 free relay team, Class 1A

Boys swimming: Bolles, 400 free relay team, Class 1A

Boys swimming: William Heck, Bolles, Class 1A, 100 breast

Boys swimming: Andres Dupont Cabrera, Bolles, Class 1A, 200 free and 100 free

Boys swimming: Julian Smith, Episcopal, Class 1A. 50 free

Winter sports

Team championships

Sport, Team, Class/division

Competitive cheerleading: Providence, small division

Competitive cheerleading: Bishop Snyder, small division, non-tumbling

Competitive cheerleading: West Nassau, medium division, non-tumbling

Competitive cheerleading: Baldwin, large division, non-tumbling

Competitive cheerleading: St. Augustine, small coed

Competitive cheerleading: Bartram Trail, large division

Girls soccer: Bartram Trail, Class 7A

Girls soccer: Ponte Vedra, Class 5A

Girls soccer: St. Johns Country Day, Class 2A

Girls weightlifting: Suwannee, Class 1A

Individual championships

Sport, athlete, School, Classification, Weight class

Girls weightlifting: Tamira Briley, Oakleaf, Class 3A, 110 pounds

Girls weightlifting: Tyler Bauer, Bartram Trail, Class 3A, 119 pounds

Girls weightlifting: Kaylee Coughlin, Bartram Trail, Class 3A, 129 pounds

Girls weightlifting: Anniel Buchanan, Flagler Palm Coast, Class 3A, 199 pounds

Girls weightlifting: Katie Griffith, Fort White, Class 1A, 101 pounds

Girls weightlifting: Matti Marsee, Suwannee, Class 1A, 110 pounds

Girls weightlifting: Courtney Comer, Union County, Class 1A, 169 pounds

Girls weightlifting: Mahailya Reeves, Union County, Class 1A, unlimited

Wrestling: Matthew Rodriquez, Ridgeview, Class 1A, 132 pounds

Wrestling: Cale Hoskinson, Clay, Class 1A, 160 pounds

Spring sports

Team championships

Sport, Team, Class

Boys weightlifting: Fleming Island, Class 3A

Boys weightlifting: Keystone Heights, Class 1A

Girls track and field: Bolles, Class 2A

Individual championships

Sport, Athlete, School, Classification, Event (if applicable)

Boys tennis: Chase Healey, Christ’s Church, Class 1A

Boys track and field: Aaron Bell, Parker, Class 3A, 100 and 200

Boys track and field: Trinity Christian 400 relay, Class 1A

Boys track and field: Rheinhardt Harrison, Nease, Class 4A, 1600 and 3200

Boys track and field: Kevin Davis Jr., Atlantic Coast, Class 4A, 300 hurdles

Boys track and field: Harrison Robinson, Raines, Class 2A

Boys track and field: Jackson, 400 relay, Class 2A

Boys track and field: Raines, 1600 relay, Class 2A

Boys weightlifting: Will Stephens, Fleming Island, Class 3A, 154 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Isaiah Jones, Clay, Class 2A, 129 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Alex Beaufort, Ridgeview, Class 2A, 154 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Jaquez Moore, Suwannee, Class 2A, 183 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Julius Moreland, Columbia, Class 2A, 219 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Damontae Gibson, Baker County, Class 2A, Unlimited

Boys weightlifting: Blake Bass, Union County, Class 1A, 129 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Zach Glover, Keystone Heights, Class 1A, 139 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Kade Sanders, Keystone Heights, Class 1A, 169 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Quinn Raulerson, Union County, Class 1A, 183 pounds

Boys weightlifting: Wyatt Butler, West Nassau, Class 1A, 238 pounds

Girls track and field: Audrey Wuerffel, Bolles, Class 2A, pole vault

Girls track and field: Torryence Poole, Palatka, Class 2A, shot put

Girls track and field: Bolles, 3200 relay, Class 2A

Girls track and field: Paxon, 400 relay, Class 2A

Girls track and field: Paxon, 1600 relay, Class 2A


About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.