Pinecrest, Union Pines Capture Conference Cups
Pinecrest and Union Pines had banner years for their athletic programs. Now they’ll be able to raise one of the biggest banners a high school can attain in North Carolina.
The two Moore County schools captured the Wachovia Conference Cup for their respective leagues for the 2009-2010 school year.
“It shows the hard work and dedication of the kids first, and the effort they put in, and then it comes down to the coaches and how they prepare the team,” said Union Pines athletic director Steven Ross. “The parents’ support, the community involvement. It’s a complete community effort in reference to winning that prestigious award for the school.”
Following the winter season, both schools were in first place in their respective leagues’ standings in the race for the Wachovia Conference Cup, awarded annually to the best overall athletic program in each conference.
Pinecrest clinched the award for the Southeastern 4A Conference with spring championships in baseball, boys’ golf, girls’ soccer, boys’ tennis and girls’ track and field, finishing with 89.5 points to outdistance second-place Scotland (67.5 points) and third-place Lumberton (65).
“We had the best athletic program in the conference, and that’s something certainly to be proud of,” said Pinecrest athletic director Ernie Purnsley. “All the credit goes to the coaches and the players and their dedication, and the parents who brought them to practice.”
The Patriots qualified all but one of their varsity teams for the state playoffs and had 12 teams capture conference championships.
Pinecrest was second to Jack Britt in the Mid-Southeastern 4A Conference Wachovia Conference Cup standings a season ago and last captured the award in 2006-2007.
“It means that our total athletic programs are No. 1,” said Purnsley. “It was an incredible year this year, something that’s hard to believe.”
After a one-year hiatus, Union Pines regained the Wachovia Conference Cup for the Cape Fear Valley 3A Conference with 100.5 points, beating out second-place Western Harnett (95 points) and third-place Southern Lee (76).
“This year, we had almost every varsity sport to make the playoffs,” said Ross. “This award gives us a very positive spotlight for the school.”
The Vikings locked up the award with spring championships in boys’ tennis and boys’ golf and runner-up finishes in baseball, softball and girls’ soccer.
They last captured the Conference Cup in 2007-2008 and finished third in the standings a season ago behind Harnett Central and Triton, two schools that departed the league during conference realignment in the offseason.
A strong spring catapulted North Moore out of last place in the Yadkin Valley 1A Conference Wachovia Conference Cup standings. The Mustangs finished in fifth place out of nine schools with 550 points.
East Montgomery captured the Conference Cup with 630 points, ahead of Albemarle (580 points) and South Stanly (572.5).
Last year, North Moore finished sixth out of seven schools.
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