Pinecrest High School’s state champions Carmen Alder and Jaclyn Kenzel

Pinecrest High School’s state champions Carmen Alder, left, and Jaclyn Kenzel.

The Pinecrest athletic department boasted its best finish in the state 4-A Wells Fargo Cup in recent years when the N.C. High School Athletic Association announced the winners on Tuesday.

Pinecrest’s third-place finish in the state’s 4-A Wells Fargo Cup is the highest finish for the athletic department in the standings since taking sixth in the 2011-12 final standings. Last week it was announced that the Patriots won their conference’s Wells Fargo Cup for the 10th year in a row.

“This is a testament to the county office and our principal, Ms. Phillips, and everything they have done to help our programs succeed,” Pinecrest athletic director Jeff Hewitt said. “This makes us proud and it gives our school credibility that our sports teams are doing what they need to do.”

The Patriots claimed conference titles in boys basketball, boys swimming and diving, wrestling, boys and girls cross country, girls golf, girls tennis and volleyball. Pinecrest shared the conference championship in boys soccer with Hoke County.

At the state level, Pinecrest made the playoffs in every team sport before the pandemic cut the spring season short.

The girls golf team won the 4-A state title in the fall, and individual state champions came from Carmen Alder in girls cross country, and Jaclyn Kenzel in girls golf.

The cross country teams claimed top-five finishes as a team at the state championships with the boys and girls finishing third and fourth place, respectively.

The boys basketball team ended its season in the 4-A East Regional Final game, the deepest run for the program in the playoffs since the early years of the school in the 1970s.

Wrestling and girls tennis made it to the second round of their respective state dual team state championships.

Football, boys soccer and girls basketball also had state playoff appearances this past season.

This finish in the Wells Fargo Cup came after the spring sports seasons were cut short, keeping what normally is a prosperous season for the boys golf, girls soccer, track and field, lacrosse and baseball teams from tallying points for the school’s total.

“I always say when we have coaches meetings that the fall sports set the foundation for our year, and then the winter sports carry on what was built from the fall,” Hewitt said. “And when it comes around to the spring, I’m telling those coaches that we need to finish things up the right way. We do it all to make each other proud.”

Pinecrest finished in third with 305 points, 70 points behind winner Cardinal Gibbons and 30 points behind Green Hope in second place.

Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 692-7271 or

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