SBLive’s 2021 MHSAA 4A All-Sports Awards: Pontotoc edges Corinth for top honors

Welcome to a continuing tradition at SBLive Mississippi – the MHSAA All-Sports Awards.

At the conclusion of every high school athletic year, SBLive’s Tyler Cleveland will crunch the numbers to award Mississippi high school athletic programs who achieve the highest level of success in the most sports. Think of it as an Athletic Director’s Award.

The scoring system has developed over the years and is based on how each team finishes in each sport. For example, a team receives 30 points for winning a state championship in any respective sport. If the sport relies on a playoff bracket to determine a champion, the runner-up receives 25 points and the teams who were defeated in the semifinal round receive 20 (and so on). Every team that reaches the playoffs, regardless of the team’s record, scores points for their school.

In a sport determined by indirect competition (like powerlifting or cross country), the first-place team receives 30 points, second place gets 25 (and so on), with the top eight teams receiving points.

Here’s a look at how the top teams in MHSAA’s Class 4A fared during the 2020-2021 athletic season:

CLASS 4A ALL-SPORTS AWARDS

1. Pontotoc 
Total score: 260
Championships: Girls’ Basketball, Boys’ Track

(Photos by Randy J. Williams)

The Warriors made their bones in the school’s traditional wheelhouse: in addition to their two state championships, the school reached the state championship in volleyball and finished runner-up in girls’ track and boys’ cross-country. They also had deep playoff runs in boys’ basketball, tennis and boys’ soccer.

2. Corinth 
Total Score: 240
Championships: Girls’ Cross-Country, Boys’ Cross Country, Boys’ Powerlifting

Corinth’s abundance of athletes was obvious over the past year — just look at the sports where the Warriors excelled. Both distance-running programs brought home championships, and they finished No. 1 and No. 2 in boys’ and girls’ powerlifting, respectively. Corinth also had deep playoff runs in volleyball and reached the state quarterfinals in baseball and football.

3. New Albany 
Total score: 185
Championships: Boys’ Golf, Tennis

The Bulldog athletic program took big strides over the past year. New Albany captured two state titles and nearly won two others. The girls’ golf program finished runner-up to Corinth in boys’ powerlifting and Water Valley clipped the girls’ golf team by three strokes at the state championship. Still, both basketball teams made the playoffs and boys’ soccer and volleyball both reached the semifinal round.

4. Vancleave 
Total score: 152.5
Championships: Volleyball

Vancleave was the perfect example of being a well-rounded program in the 2020-2021 athletic season. The Bulldogs won the volleyball championship, but only reached the semifinal round in one other playoff sport: softball. The Bulldogs did, however, qualify for the playoffs in baseball, both boys’ and girls’ basketball, football, girls’ soccer and tennis.

5. West Lauderdale 
Total Score: 150
Championships: Baseball

The Knights were boom or bust over the last year. They won big in baseball, finished runner-up in girls’ soccer and reached the state semifinals in softball, which really helped their overall score. They are one of the only teams to place in the top five of their respective class, despite missing the playoffs in girls’ and boys’ basketball and volleyball.

The best of the rest:
6. Itawamba (135)
7. Sumrall (127.5)
8. Stone (125)
9. Florence (120)
10. Mooreville (117.5)

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