CHAPEL HILL – The N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA), in conjunction with Wells Fargo, released the final standings in the 42nd annual Wells Fargo State Cup competitions for the 2021-22 academic year on Sept. 16.
The award recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state’s four competitive classifications.
Mount Airy, East Surry and Elkin were all recognized as top-10 finishers in their respective divisions. This marks the first time since the 2014-15 school year that three Surry County teams have finished in the top-10. That year, all three schools were from the 1A division: Elkin finished No. 5, East Surry was No. 8 and Mount Airy was No. 9
East Surry makes its fifth consecutive appearance in the top 10, this time competing in the 2A division while the previous four were in 1A. The Cardinals have finished in the top 10 in seven of the past 10 school years: 2013, 2015 and 2018-22.
Mount Airy and Elkin both return to the Wells Fargo Cup top 10 after multi-year absences. Mount Airy last appeared in the 1A top 10 following the 2017-18 school year. The Granite Bears’ make their fifth top-10 appearance in the past 10 school years: 2015-18 and now 2022.
Elkin makes its first top-10 appearance since 2015. Prior to 2022, Elkin’s only top-10 appearances in the past 10 school years came in 2014 and 2015.
About the State Cup
Since 1979, the Wells Fargo State Cup award has been awarded to the schools which have the best overall interscholastic sports programs in each of the four classifications: 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A.
All schools that finish in the top eight positions (plus ties) in an NCHSAA state championship event receive Wells Fargo Cup points. In events where 1A, 2A, 3A, and/or 4A schools compete together, such as lacrosse, points are awarded on a school’s standing against other schools in its classification.
In Cup competition, points are awarded for all sports on the basis of 50 points for first, 45 for second place, 40 for third, 35 for fourth, 30 for fifth, 25 for sixth, 20 for seventh and 15 for eighth.
In the event of a tie, the schools receive an equal number of points based on the number of teams that tie and the number of teams that finish higher in the standings.
Five points are awarded for each sanctioned sport in which a school competes.
1A State Cup
1. Bishop McGuinness – 497.5
2. Christ the King – 416.67
3. Mountain Island Charter – 412.5
4. Union Academy – 400
5. Mount Airy – 327.5
6. Swain County – 311.67
7. Elkin – 310
8. Voyager Academy – 277.5
9. South Stanly – 240
10. Robbinsville – 235
Mount Airy’s No. 5 finish in the 2021-22 Cup was the highest of any traditional 1A school in the state; the top two spots were occupied by private schools, and the next two spots by public charters.
Since 2009, only one traditional public 1A high school has won the 1A Wells Fargo State Cup: Mount Airy in 2016-17.
The crowning achievement of the year’s Granite Bears was the school’s Dual-Team State Championship in girls tennis. The 22-0 Bears shut out 17 opponents, and never dropped more than three individual matches. Mount Airy only surrendered two individual matches through its final 13 matches of the season – including the entire postseason.
In the fall of 2021, Mount Airy also finished 1A West Regional Runner-up in boys soccer – marking the program’s second Regional Final appearance in three years and its third appearance in the past five years – and reached the quarterfinals of the football state tournament.
The Granite Bears had four top-8 finishes during winter sports and the wrestling team accounted for two of those. The Bears reached the quarterfinals of the dual-team state tournament, only losing to the eventual state champs, and finished No. 6 as a team at the Individual State Wrestling Tournament.
The boys swim and indoor track teams didn’t finish in the top eight overall since those championships are a combined 1A/2A, but the teams did earn Wells Fargo Cup points for finishing in the top eight of their division. Mount Airy’s indoor track team tied for the third-highest score of any 1A team (tied for 17th overall), while the swim team finished No. 5 among 1A competition (11th overall).
In the spring, Mount Airy added a quarterfinal appearance in boys tennis.
Elkin didn’t have any top-8 appearances in the fall, but had three each in the winter and spring.
The Buckin’ Elks girls swim team had the highest finish of any 1A team. Elkin finished No. 4 overall behind a trio of 2A charters. Elkin’s No. 4 finish was the only appearance by a traditional public school – in 1A or 2A – in the top 12.
Not far behind was the Elks’ boys swim team, who finished No. 2 in 1A. Elkin’s boys finished No. 5 overall behind three 2A charters and one 1A charter.
Elkin also finished tied for fourth in 1A for girls indoor track. Overall the girls were 12th in the team competition.
Continuing their success in the spring, Elkin’s boys tennis team reached the 1A West Regional Final before falling to the eventual state champs. The Buckin’ Elks boys golf team finished No. 5 in the 1A division, and the girls track team finished No. 8.
2A State Cup
1. Pine Lake Prep – 487.5
2. Community School of Davidson – 450
3. NCSSM – Durham – 325
4. Lincoln Charter – 322.5
5. Shelby – 295
6. West Stanly – 280
7. Cummings – 267.5
8. Raleigh Charter – 260
9. Salisbury – 257.5
10. East Surry – 252.5
East Surry adjusted to the 2A division in its first year and made the top 10 of the Wells Fargo Cup. The Cardinals still have the numbers of a 1A school, but were moved up a division in the latest realignment cycle due to the NCHSAA factoring previous State Cup success into its formula.
East is the only Surry County school to rank in the top-10 of the 2A Wells Fargo State Cup since 2011. NCHSAA records for the top-10 Wells Fargo Cup teams only date back to 2011.
East Surry’s football and volleyball teams both reached the 2A West Regional Championship in the fall. It was the volleyball team’s second regional final appearance in three seasons, winning the 1A West Regional Title in 2019, and was the football team’s fourth-consecutive regional championship appearance. The Cardinal football team won the 1A West Regional Title three times from 2018-20.
Both the 2021-22 volleyball and football teams were eliminated by the eventual state champions.
During the winter East Surry earned points in the boys swimming state championship. The Cards were No. 16 overall, but met the cut to earn points as the No. 8 2A team.
East Surry’s golf team captured the 2A State Title one year after finishing runner-up in the 1A Championship. The Cardinals won the team championship by 11 strokes, and senior Bradley Davis Jr. finished State Runner-up individually.
Finally, the Cardinal baseball team earned points by reaching the quarterfinals of the 2A State Tournament. This marked East’s fourth-consecutive appearance in at least the fourth round, with the previous three coming in the 1A division. East Surry was eliminated from the playoffs by the eventual state champions.