A well-balanced spring season proved to be just enough to propel Wilkes Central to its fourth-straight Wells Fargo Conference Cup championship.
And this one came by the narrowest of margins — just half a point.
The Eagles, who were fourth after the fall, won the cup for the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference with 107 points. The Ashe County Huskies, who led after both the fall and winter seasons, finished with 106.5 points.
Central’s comeback started in the winter season when it won league titles in both boys and girls basketball and girls swimming.
The Eagles followed that up with spring conference championships in girls soccer and boys golf; they added a runner-up finish in baseball and third-place finishes in boys and girls track.
Ashe County finished second courtesy of MVAC titles in both boys and girls track and third-place finishes in three other sports.
The Wells Fargo Cup award, which is sponsored by Wells Fargo and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state’s four competitive classifications.
The Wells Fargo Conference Cup is a companion to the Wells Fargo Cup and recognizes schools with the best overall interscholastic athletic performances within individual conferences. Wachovia and now Wells Fargo have sponsored the conference awards program since 1980.
In most conferences, points are awarded based on participation and standings in conference play. Each conference determines its own method of awarding points.
West Wilkes, which was seventh after the fall, bounced back with conference championships in girls basketball and wrestling during the winter. The Blackhawks used championships in baseball and softball to wrap up third place with 88 points.
On the strength of runner-up finishes in boys golf, softball and boys tennis, East Wilkes (81 points) finished half a point ahead of Elkin for fourth place. The Cardinals added a third-place finish in baseball.
Starmount (76.5 points), Alleghany (68 points) and North Wilkes (66.5 points) rounded out the league’s finishers. A second-place finish in boys track and field highlighted the spring for the Vikings.
Wells Fargo Cup standings are announced three times each school year — once after the fall, again after the winter sports and then concluding with the winner after the spring sports season ends in June. The engraved silver cups are presented during NCHSAA Day activities at UNC-Chapel Hill each fall.
Note: The margin of victory in the MVAC tied for the second-closest among all the NCHSAA conference across the four classifications. The Southwestern 2A Conference, which is comprised of Rutherford County and Gaston County schools, also finished with a half-point margin of victory. The Northern Athletic 4A Conference out of Wake County finished in a tie for its top schools while the third-place team finished a point out.