SBLive’s 2021 MHSAA 5A All-Sports Awards: Saltillo shoots to the top with 3 state championships

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 5A fared during the 2020-2021 athletic season:

CLASS 5A ALL-SPORTS AWARDS

1. Saltillo
Total Score: 270
Championships: Archery, Baseball, Girls’ Cross Country

Saltillo celebrates its MHSAA Class 5A Baseball Championship on Friday, June 5, 2021. (Photo by Keith Warren)

The Saltillo athletic program produced some great athletes in the past year. In addition to their championships in baseball and girls’ cross country, the Tigers made deep playoff runs in softball, tennis and girls’ soccer. The tie-breaker between the Tigers and second-place Lafayette was archery — Saltillo claimed a Class III State Championship and the Commodores finished 11th.

2. Lafayette
Total score: 240
Championships: Boys’ Bowling, Girls’ Soccer, Tennis

The Commodores had a banner year, with playoff runs in baseball, football, softball and girls’ basketball. They also finished runner-up in girls’ track and girls’ cross country.

3. Long Beach
Total Score: 235
Championships: Girls’ Golf, Boys’ Soccer

Long Beach reached the post-season in 14 different sports and finished runner-up in volleyball and girls’ bowling. They also had deep playoff runs in girls’ soccer and softball and finished fourth in both girls’ and boys’ cross country.

4. Neshoba Central
Total Score: 212.5
Championships: Girls’ Bowling, Softball

Neshoba Central received points in 14 out of the 21 categories to finish fourth in total score. The Rockets finished second in boys’ bowling and put together playoff runs in girls’ basketball, volleyball and football. It would be a bigger story if they didn’t win it all in softball, as they did again this year.

5. Brookhaven
Total Score: 187.5
Championships: Boys’ Cross Country

The Panthers picked up one state title, but could have easily had a couple more. Brookhaven was runner-up in boys’ track and tennis, finished third in girls’ track and cross country and reached the semifinal round in girls’ basketball.

The best of the rest: 
6. Pascagoula (162.5)
7. West Jones (135)
8. East Central (130)
(T) 9. South Jones (117.5)
(T) 9. Center Hill (117.5) 

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