BT Wins Two State Championships
What a week for BT athletics! Not only did the girls' soccer and girls' tennis teams win state championships, but they did it on BT turf - our first-ever hosting of state finals.
Girls Tennis Brings It Home
Tennis is usually one of two high school sports, the other being golf, where fans are quiet and reserved. When Blessed Trinity’s girl tennis team took to their home courts on Monday afternoon, the fans, while quiet, were not reserved. The BT fans wanted another state championship to place alongside the trophy won by the girls’ soccer team just two days prior and the other two won during the fall.
The match between the Blessed Trinity Lady Titans and the Dunwoody Lady Wildcats started on Saturday afternoon, but storms halted play and the state final was moved from Clayton International Park to BT’s courts to finish. Moving the state tournament to BT meant that the high school would be hosting two state championships in as many days; Saturday’s soccer game was the first-ever state championship game held at the seven-year-old school.
According to BT head varsity girls’ tennis coach, Melissa McCarty, although the girls were disappointed that they didn’t get to come to the school’s spring sport banquet as state champs, they were excited to be able to play in front of a home crowd. “They were definitely a little nervous, but I think they were excited more than anything. Tennis doesn’t usually draw big crowds, so to have the opportunity for their families and peers to see what great players they are was definitely a thrill for them,” she said. With the school year winding down and an afternoon match scheduled, numerous teachers and students were able to see the championship match.
“It really was a unique opportunity for the student body to show support for the tennis team,” said BT Athletic Director Ricky Turner. “We had students, teachers, administrators, parents and even alumni attending. There were so many fans, we had an overflow of students on the soccer bleachers looking over onto the tennis courts. And they couldn’t have seen a more exciting state championship.”
Blessed Trinity took an early lead by winning two singles’ matches, but dropped a doubles match to Dunwoody. BT’s second doubles team then went on to win a close first set 6-4 when the third singles match took the court. Because the doubles had the lead and were further along in the match, most of the attention was on them. The doubles’ second set continued to be just as close as the first and, in the meantime, BT singles player Amanda Barnes took the court with authority and quickly won the first set 6-1. She continued to play with dominance and quickly finished the second set 6-0, just as the doubles were switching sides with a 4-2 lead in the second set tie-breaker, giving the Titans victories in all three singles matches and the State Championship.
To end the season with a state championship, according to McCarty, was one more highlight in a year when the Lady Titans went 20-3 and were named Region 5-AAA champs. “The entire season was one big highlight. We had fun at every match and the girls really pulled together as a team all season long, which is why they did so well,” she said. “And to beat Westminster twice in one season was probably the biggest thrill next to winning state.”
The 2007 State Championship winners include: Natalie Allard, Amanda Barnes, Lauren Dempsey, Natalia Fernandez, Rachel Hampton, Loren Ramsey, Elizabeth Sims, Mary Claire Slade, Colleen Storey and Ali Woodbury.
There is No Sharing In Girls Soccer
This year, there is no sharing in soccer! The Blessed Trinity Lady Titans soccer team, after being named co-champion in 2006, is the sole winner of the AAA state championship trophy for 2007.
“This has been an emotional year for our girls and they deserved it,” said BT’s head girls’ varsity coach Gilbert Jean-Baptiste. “I’m extremely proud of them and I could not be more excited for our senior class. They are going out as State Champions. It saddens me to see them leave, but I have no choice but to let them go.”
As the Blessed Trinity Lady Titans soccer team took the field on Saturday evening’s game against Westminster, the crowd was pumped. After Friday night’s game was postponed due to a lightning storm and a slight weather delay at the start of Saturday’s game, both schools were anxious to get the AAA state championship game underway. With gray clouds looming, the BT stadium was decorated with green and gold balloons, streamers, and a dozen signs cheering on the Lady Titans in the first-ever state championship game played on the grounds of the seven-year-old Catholic high school.
As was fitting in the much-anticipated game between the two rival teams, the well-defended game was scoreless until the second half. With 15 minutes left in regulation, captain Ashley Marks outran a Wildcat defender and chipped the ball over the head of the fast-approaching goalie to score the only goal of the game.
“This same combination happened last year when sophomore Christina Kyker passed the ball to Ashley,” said Coach Jean-Baptiste. “We had various opportunities but failed to score. Westminster’s goalkeeper did a great job to keep them in the game. However, we knew that our time would come.” The Titans took the trophy home by winning 1-0.
The two teams, facing off for the third year in a row for the state title, were also coming together to dedicate the game to Megan Ryan, a former BT administrator and varsity soccer coach who took the Titans to victory in 2004 for the AA state championship. Mrs. Ryan, who lost her year-long battle with cancer in late April, was the wife of Tom Ryan, a Westminster teacher and football and wrestling coach, who was in attendance with their two small children. After a moment of silence, the captains of both teams released white balloons in her honor.
“Having both teams come together in such a way before the game says a lot about the two schools,” said BT Athletic Director Ricky Turner. “Winning state titles and being part of a talented athletic program is great, but it is really about the people who make up the community, and the Ryans are a big part of BT and Westminster.”
According to Coach Jean-Baptiste, the dedication was important to the team, especially the seniors who had been coached by Mrs. Ryan. “Seniors Katie Irrgang, Ashley Marks, and Ali Coad were members of our first State Championship team under Coach Ryan. With this win they were able to honor her.”
2007 Stae Championship memebers: McKenzie Lentz, Jamie Bouck, Lindsay Schulz, Ashley Marks, Hannah Coad, Noelle Cabato, Brittany Gordon, Meredith Streppa, Christina Kyker, Alison Gonzalez, Maddie Porter, Ali Coad, , Jessica Binkowski, Katie Irrgang, Eleni Davino, Katie Lyon, Alyssa Walter, Taylor Green, Maggie McConnell, Taylor Mulryan, Maddy McIntyre, and Lauren O'Donnell. Manager - Alex Richards. Student Trainers – Mary Beth Gizinski and Lucy Williams.