Area schools named state’s best

Two county schools were recognized for their athletic success, as they received the All-Sports Award, given annually by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
New Albany and West Union received this award for their respective classes, each boasting state champions and teams that advanced far in the playoffs.
But this is not the first go-around for West Union, who has received this award for the third time in four years and boasted high marks for their state champions in girls cross country and boys bowling, state runner-up girls bowling and fast pitch softball teams, as well as playoff competitors in baseball, boys cross country and golf, girls golf and slow pitch softball.
“This is such a big honor because we’re such a small school,” West Union Athletic Director Penny Heard said. “The kids are liable of cheering, playing basketball, softball, and that says a lot about their athletic ability that not only do they play so many sports, but they’re also winning.”
West Union outscored St. Aloysius (191) and Cathedral (175), finishing with 208 total points. The 1A award also stays in Union County for the fourth consecutive year, as Myrtle received top honors in 2010.
“This shows the strength of Union County as well as the competition that we have to face, too,” Heard said. “Union County is very competitive.”
For the Bulldogs, this is the first time the school has received the honor, as they finished with 305.5 points, outscoring second place Pontotoc (298.5) and third place Lafayette (234). NAHS caps their most successful athletic year with a state champion in girls basketball, state tournament finalist in boys basketball, a third round playoff appearance in football and baseball, north half championship appearance in boys soccer and individual state championships in boys powerlifiting and track and field.
“We’ve had a tremendous season and we’re extremely fortunate to have this many good kids, along with
so many good coaches working year round to be successful,” NAHS Athletic Director Shane Sanderson said. “With all of the hard work and effort, this award makes it all fall into place. It is a tremendous group effort, and we have  so many people; coaches, parents, teachers, administration who have worked hard and have given a lot of effort. We’re proud of the championships, and now the kids can see this award and know that our entire athletic program is successful. This is just a brick in the foundation, and we hope there is more to come in the future.”
The All-Sport Award is determined based on points given for teams that advance in the playoffs for their respective sport. The complete results can be  viewed online at