Scottsboro’s dynasty now covers two classifications.
The Scottsboro varsity boys cross country program won its fifth straight state championship on Saturday, putting together another dominant performance to claim the Class 6A title at Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum.
Scottsboro posted a winning low team score of 31, 42 points better than runner-up Mountain Brook (73) and 54 better than third-place Homewood (85).
It was state championship No. 15 for the Scottsboro varsity boys cross country program since 1991, tying Scottsboro with Hoover and Mountain Brook for the most boys state championships in AHSAA cross country history. It was Scottsboro’s second overall Class 6A state title (1991) — the others were won in 5A.
Scottsboro’s victory snapped Homewood’s string of eight straight state championships, giving SHS the state’s current longest boys cross country state-title winning streak.
“Whenever they told us we were going to 6A, the boys were excited,” said Scottsboro head coach Luke Robinson. “They were excited they’d be forced to be in faster races at state. They invited the competition. They’ve always been that way. I think that’s a big reason why they are what they are.”
Seniors Cooper Atkins (15:43.45), Hayden Judge (16:01.05) and Benson Atkins (16:04.32) led the Scottsboro effort, finishing second, third and fifth respectively. Sophomore Evan Hill (16:13.77) finished eighth to give the Wildcats four all-state runners, while senior Brady Thomas (17:03.85) just missed all-state honors — a Top-15 individual finish — with a 16th-place finish. Senior Noah Bonsall (17:29.73) followed in 35th-place for Scottsboro while freshman Hamilton Richardson was 43rd (17:37.38), freshman Stephen Jones 50th (17:43.32), sophomore Josh Hill 63rd (17:53.03) and junior Ridge Wells 156th (19:30.71).
“A mile into it, we had four or five (runners) up there fighting with that lead pack,” Robinson said. “That was what we wanted to do. Put our nose in it early at the beginning and see how it shakes out. They held on, and they made passes in the last mile. That’s always been a rule for us, nobody passes us in the last miles, and I think we passed a bunch (of runners) in the last mile.”
Scottsboro loses five seniors from Saturday’s race line-up, and Robinson said their impact on the program will be felt for years.
“I think they play a bigger role of what the culture of that boys distance crew is than they could ever know,” Robinson said. “They are a big reason as to why these young guys are coming in and buying in early and focusing on the little aspects to be successful. The reason they want to do that is because they want to be like that group of seniors. The example they have set makes it real easy for me as a coach. When a seventh-grader says I want to get better, I can say ‘pay attention to (those seniors).’ What a group.”