Green Hope High, a perennial sports powerhouse, pulled away in the first N&O Cup competition.
The program awards points to schools based on their finish in the final News & Observer rankings in nine different sports. Rankings from football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball are used to determine the winner.
The N&O also ranks boys and girls lacrosse teams, but did not include those in the Cup standings because a majority of area schools does not field lacrosse teams. The N&O ranks 20 teams in football, but awarded Cup points to only the top 15.
Green Hope has won three consecutive N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A Wells Fargo Cups, which is based on advancing in the NCHSAA playoffs. The N&O Cup is different because it does not include some of the Falcons’ strongest sports, such as cross country, gymnastics, dual-team tennis, golf and swimming.
“This will mean an awful lot to our community,” said Wayne Bragg, the Green Hope athletics director.
“When you consider all of the programs in our area and look at it as a whole, it is really significant to win this, especially since many of the sports that we usually are strong in were not a factor.”
Bragg said one part of the school’s athletic success has been athletes playing more than one sport.
“We have a lot of boys and girls who play multiple sports and help us in several areas,” he said. “I think our kids enjoy playing here.”
The N&O Cup ranks the teams without regard to NCHSAA, N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association, Christian School or independent affiliation or classification.
Chapel Hill, a 3A school, finished second in the N&O Cup, helped by a No. 2 finish in girls basketball, a No. 4 finish in volleyball, No. 5 in girls soccer and No. 6 finishes in boys soccer and boys basketball.
Cardinal Gibbons, another 3A school, was third and Garner was fourth.
Fifty-seven schools, including the Wake Home School Warriors baseball team, were represented in the nine N&O polls.
Green Hope will be awarded a trophy during the fall.
Breaking down the points
Apex: 2nd in softball, 4th in boys soccer, 6th in volleyball, 13th in boys basketball.
Cardinal Gibbons: 2nd in volleyball, 3rd in girls soccer, 5th in boys soccer, 8th in football 8th in baseball.
Cary: 1st in wrestling, 15th in girls’ soccer.
Cary Academy: 15th in girls basketball.
Green Hope: 1st in boys soccer, 1st in girls soccer, 3rd in baseball, 5th in volleyball, 6th in girls basketball, 14th in boys basketball, 15th in softball.
Fuquay-Varina: 1st in baseball, 8th in softball, 14th in wrestling.
Holly Springs: 2nd in wrestling, 4th in baseball, 5th in girls basketball, 11th in girls soccer.
Lee County: 10th in football, 15th in wrestling.
Middle Creek: 3rd in football, 6th in softball, 10th in boys basketball.
Panther Creek: 8th in girl ssoccer, 9th in wrestling.
Wake Homeschool: 9th in baseball.