If the Director’s Cup came in the form of rings, Hilton Head Island High School has now started on the other hand.
The Seahawks claimed the award as the top all-sports program in Class 3A for the sixth consecutive year on Wednesday, now the longest winning streak in the classification’s history.
“It never gets old,” athletics director Joe Monmonier said. “A lot of people work hard to make this award happen. It’s nice to get recognition for not just one or two sports or a certain sport. This one shows your whole athletic program is doing well.”
Hilton Head Island claimed four South Carolina 3A titles during the 2015-16 school year: volleyball, boys’ track and both cross-country programs. The Seahawks also were runners-up in wrestling, girls’ soccer and girls’ swimming.
In all, 20 of the school’s 22 varsity teams qualified for postseason play. That’s two more than the previous year but not an all-time best — the Seahawks were perfect three years ago in Monmonier’s first year at the helm.
“The fact that no one is surprised to see Hilton Head win a sixth straight Cup tells you everything you need to know,” Beaufort County Schools superintendent Jeff Moss said.
“Year in and year out, Seahawk Nation has created an expectation of athletic and academic excellence, and the entire school community dedicates itself to living up to that reputation.”
Moss also noted that Beaufort County is one of only two school districts in South Carolina that requires a 2.0 grade-point average to participate in athletics. Beaufort County also is one of just two districts that administers random drug testing to its athletes.
“We’re not the biggest school in 3A, we’re not the smallest. We’re not a city,” Monmonier said. “We’re a small island — 12 by six (miles) with three schools on it, two private. We’re kind of right in the middle of 3A in attendance, but we’re able to compete with those bigger metro areas.”
Wando High, the state’s largest high school, was the Director’s Cup winner in Class 4A. Bishop England kept its perfect streak alive in Class 2A — 14 years and counting — and St. Joseph’s Catholic School dethroned perennial Class 1A winner Christ Church.
The awards are given by the S.C. Athletic Administrators Association, based on a points system that rewards teams for their playoff progress. It’s the last time the Seahawks will claim the Class 3A award, migrating to 4A next year after reclassification that recasts the divisions from four to five.
“If you look at the breakdown of teams for next year, it’s primarily the same competition,” Monmonier said.
Carson leaving Seahawks: Monmonier will have to fill one vacancy for next year, after baseball coach Blair Carson accepted a job at Crescent High near Anderson.
The change allows Carson to move closer to family, Monmonier said, adding that he’s in no rush to fill the position. “I want to find the right guy more than I just want to find a baseball coach,” he said.