NORTH FULTON/FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. —Appen Media continues its Best of the Year awards for sports, including the best athletes, coaches, games and teams from North Fulton and Forsyth County in the 2016-17 high school athletic year.
This week features the top teams in no particular order.
Fellowship Christian football
In the 2016 season, the Paladins became the underdog many rooted for as they won an unlikely berth in the state championship. Using the fading triple-option and starting a majority of players on both sides of the ball, the Paladins captured the Region 6-A championship and went 13-0 before falling to ELCA in overtime in the state championship game.
Using strong pitching and a stout defense, Cambridge allowed just 37 runs in 36 games on its way to a near perfect, 34-1 record, region championship and state championship. The Lady Bears finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation by MaxPreps. Starting pitcher Keara Napoli was named the Gatorade Girls Softball Player of the Year for Georgia.
Blessed Trinity baseball
With talent throughout its ranks, the Titans went 36-6 this season and captured the Region 7-AAAA championship, going undefeated in region play. The Titans allowed just 57 earned runs this season and outscored opponents by an average of 5.3 runs per game. The Titans reached the state championship series for the fourth straight year, finishing as state runner up after falling to Marist in three games.
Johns Creek boys/girls golf
Though neither the boys or girls teams were able to capture a region championship, both Johns Creeks teams were consistently at the top of the leaderboards throughout their season. And when it mattered most, Johns Creek was unbeatable, sweeping the Class AAAAAA golf state championships.
Alpharetta set a program record with 44 wins this season and finished as state runner-up in Class AAAAAA. A total of 36 of the Lady Raiders’ were either 2-0 or 3-0 in sets. The Lady Raiders were also tough to beat in late play, going 8-2 in decisive sets.
Northview girls basketball
With a mix of talent extending beyond upperclassmen, the Lady Titans reeled off a perfect 16-0 record in Region 7-AAAAAA, capturing the program’s first region title. The Titans finished the season 28-4 and reached the Final Four in the Class AAAAAA state playoffs, the deepest playoff run in the program’s history.
For the second straight season, Roswell compiled a near perfect 14-1 record and finished as state runner up in the highest classification, falling to Grayson in overtime of the state championship. The Hornets offense averaged 34 points per game while its stout defense allowed just nine per game.
South Forsyth girls cross country
South Forsyth captured the Class AAAAAAA state championship by a 54-point margin over second-place finishers Brookwood at the state championship meet. South placed three runners in the top-10 and four in the top-15.
Blessed Trinity volleyball
It was another state championship year for BT volleyball, its third straight, but this title came in Class AAAA. The Titans compiled a 55-9 overall record, dropping just four matches to in-state opponents. BT captured the Region 7-AAAA title and went 15-2 in sets in the state playoffs.
Chattahoochee boys soccer
With size, speed and agility throughout its roster, Chattahoochee went 19-2-1 this season and won the Class AAAAAA state championship. The Cougars defense, which dubbed itself the “brick wall,” held region opponents to just five goals and led to a Hooch region title. In five playoff games, the Cougars outscored opponents 24-2.
Milton girls lacrosse
The Milton girls lacrosse dynasty continued this year with the Lady Eagles reaching their 13th consecutive state championship appearance and winning their 11th state title. Milton went 19-4 this season and went undefeated against in-state opponents. The four teams Milton lost to had a combined record of 86-9 and all either won state championships or made state championship game appearances.