April 2, 2012
Less than a month ago, the Wesleyan girls basketball team added another title to an unbelievable run of success.
The Wolves have won nine state championships since 2002, including the past five in a row, firmly entrenching them as one of the greatest sports dynasties, not just in Gwinnett history, but also in state history. A state championship in 2012-13 would tie them with the Hart County girls (1989-94) for the most consecutive girls basketball state titles in Georgia history.
While I was pondering Wesleyan's place in the world of dynasties, it got me thinking about Gwinnett's best dynasties in other sports.
Here's my list of the top dynasty in each sport. Let me know if you have any disagreements:
Norcross (2006-08) Winning three straight state titles in the state's highest classification makes the Blue Devils a no-brainer for this one. A close No. 2 — Berkmar's back-to-back state champions in 2000 and 2001.
Parkview (2000-02) While Buford won more titles during its four-year run from 2007-10 (matching West Rome's state record with four straight titles), Parkview gets my pick here. Winning three state titles in Georgia's highest class is more impressive than what Buford did in Class AA.
Parkview (2001-02) Like Parkview's run of football titles, the baseball run also featured a deep, talented bunch led by headliner Jeff Francoeur. The Panthers get the close nod over Wesleyan's three-peat from 2008 to 2010.
Collins Hill (2008-12) Obvious choice here. There's no matching what the Eagles have done of late.
Collins Hill (2009-11) I had a tough time with this one, with two impressive streaks currently alive. Buford's been on a great run with five straight from 2007-11, but I'm inclined to go with Collins Hill beating tougher AAAAA competition for three in a row from 2009-11.
Parkview (2000-03) Brookwood had a strong three-year run with state titles from 2008-10, but the Panthers are the pick here with four straight championships led by future Olympian Eric Shanteau.
GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING
Brookwood (2001-04) Only one other dynasty to consider in this sports (Parkview in 1997 and 1998), but that one can't compete with the Broncos' four straight behind another future Olympian, Amanda Weir.
Wesleyan (2004-07) Wesleyan has been the only dominant volleyball force statewide since the sport began in Gwinnett. The Wolves won another title in 2009 for five in a six-year span.
GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD
Collins Hill (2006-08) An amazing run of athletes fueled the Eagles during a strong three-year stretch that barely beats out Brookwood's state title teams from 1990-92.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Collins Hill (2003-08) Many of the same athletes that fueled Collins Hill's track dynasty did the same in girls cross country. Only Brookwood (state champs from 1989-1991 in Class AAAA) come anywhere close to what Collins Hill did with its run of six titles in a row.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Brookwood (2009-11) This may have been the toughest to pick of them all. The Broncos' dominating state meet performances the past three seasons give them the spot, and the program also has won eight other boys cross country state titles since 1989 (including three in a row from 2001-03). Parkview also had a great three-year run from 2004-06 and is a solid No. 2 choice, just behind Wesleyan's boys (eight titles from 2001-11, including two streaks of three straight).
Parkview (2007-09) No matching the Panthers in this sport. Their three-year run of titles followed individual championships in 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2005.
Collins Hill (2009-10) Though the Eagles won titles only in 2009 and 2010, they finished as state runner-ups in 2008 and 2011 as part of a four straight finals appearance. That record, plus the improved level of soccer play currently in the state, gives Collins Hill the edge over Parkview's back-to-back title teams (1993-94 and 1997-98).
Brookwood (1996-98) The Broncos broke through with a state-title run when Gwinnett hadn't had much success at the state level in boys tennis. They beat out the No. 2 choice, GAC from 2005-08.