Kingsway High School always has prided itself on being one of the top sports programs locally in its 50 years of existence. This has been evidenced by their numerous conference titles, over 160 in total. Over 60 South Jersey championships as well as 11 state titles further its case.
However, one major athletic designation has eluded them- the title of top sports program in New Jersey. In June this drought came to a resounding end, as Kingsway was named the recipient of the Shop-Rite Cup for Group 3 for the 2012-13 school year.
Going on 10 years, ShopRite, in coordination with the NJSIAA (New Jersey’s high school sports governing body), has looked to recognize the top athletic programs in each of the four public school classifications (from the small Group I programs like Clayton to the large Group 4 programs like Washington Twp.) as well as the two non-public groupings (Non-Public A is the large school grouping, and Non-Public B is the small school grouping).
Points are awarded based on a school’s performance in the state tournaments; there are 32 different high school sports in New Jersey that have state tournaments. Therefore, it’s a necessity to qualify for postseason play.
Once there, a team has to place in the top four in order to score points towards the Cup. State champions earn 10 points, runner-ups earn eight points, third place earns six points, and fourth place earns five points. There also are points awarded for good sportsmanship.
Kingsway accumulated a massive score of 71 points, which were the most points scored by any public school regardless of group. Moorestown, a past winner, finished second in the group with 62 points, while local powerhouse, Timber Creek, finished third with 50 points.
Kingsway scored points the following ways:
- Boys Cross Country, coached by Christian Lynch, were the State Group 3 champions, which was worth 10 points.
- Football, coached by Tony Barchuk, made it to the South Jersey Group 4 title game, earning 8 points.
- Girls Winter Track & Field, coached by Lynch, was the State Group 3 Relay champions, which was worth 10 points. They also finished 2nd at the State Championships for 8 points.
- Boys Winter Track & Field, coached by Lynch, finished 2nd at the State Relays for 8 points. They also finished 2nd at the State Championships for 8 points.
- Girls Spring Track & Field, coached by Curtis Custis, finished 2nd at the State Championships for 8 points.
- Boys Spring Track & Field, coached by Mel Carter, finished 2nd at the State Championships for 8 points.
- 3 points were awarded for good sportsmanship.
Making the postseason is a difficult proposition. Placing in the top four certainly is not easy. 71 points is an entirely different matter.
The 2012-13 sports year at Kingsway truly was one for the ages. Now that Kingsway has moved up to Group 4 for most sports, the push to repeat as ShopRite Cup winner only gets more difficult.
However, the Dragons seem to be more than up for the task. Go Dragons!