Watching his programs win the Ralph Young All-Sports Award always is gratifying for New Albany High School athletics director Kevin Reed for several reasons.

Watching his programs win the Ralph Young All-Sports Award always is gratifying for New Albany High School athletics director Kevin Reed for several reasons.

Reed succeeded Young as Delaware athletics director and served in that position from 1993-2010, and remains close friends with Young.

New Albany also is the only school to win the award for the OCC-Capital Division in each of the six years it has been presented.

But this year's accomplishment pleased Reed even more, given that $625 pay-to-participate fees were in effect for the winter and spring seasons after a levy failed in the general election last November.

"It's been tough, obviously, with pay-to-participate and our numbers being down," Reed said, adding that total participation in athletics this past school year decreased between 20 and 30 percent from previous years. "But our kids focused and executed. With the experience level of our coaches and players, I was not concerned at all that we wouldn't perform very well."

The All-Sports award, in its sixth year, goes to the school in each of the OCC's four divisions that performs the best in the conference's 16 common sports over the course of a school year. Eight points are awarded for finishing first, seven for placing second, six for finishing third, and so on.

New Albany scored 102.5 points to edge Olentangy (100) for the award. Olentangy Orange (90) was third, followed by Worthington Kilbourne (73), Big Walnut (71.5), Delaware (59.5), Mount Vernon (58.5) and Franklin Heights (19).

New Albany earned league championships in boys basketball, boys cross country, boys golf, boys tennis, girls tennis and softball. The Eagles were runners-up in girls soccer and boys and girls track and field, and tied Kilbourne for second in girls basketball.

Third-place finishes in boys soccer and girls volleyball also significantly contributed to New Albany's point total, but it was the Eagles' performances in the league track meet May 14 and 16 at Big Walnut that ended up securing the award.

"We went to the OCC meet and came in second because you really have to have three girls per event (to compete for the team title). We (did) not have ... the numbers," girls track coach Otis Winston said. "We have the talent, and it showed up big-time later in the year."

The other All-Sports award winners were Gahanna in the OCC-Ohio, Olentangy Liberty in the OCC-Central and Westerville Central in the OCC-Cardinal.

Each of the other winners are establishing sustained traditions of success, although not quite to the extent of New Albany, which has 46 of a possible 96 championships in Ralph Young sports since the award's inception.

Liberty won its fourth consecutive award and third in a row in the OCC-Central, and Gahanna and Westerville Central both won for the second consecutive year.

The award is named in honor of Young, who also was a longtime OCC secretary and a longtime track official and managed basketball tournaments at the sectional, district and regional levels for the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Young also served as treasurer of the OHSAA's Central District.

While the softball team won its first league championship since 1993, when it was in the MSL-Cardinal, New Albany's other first-place winners have entrenched themselves atop the OCC-Capital.

The boys and girls tennis teams have combined to go 115-0 in OCC-Capital matches with 17 league championships since New Albany joined the conference before the 2006-07 school year. The boys golf team has won five league titles in a row, and the boys basketball and boys cross country teams both have won three consecutive league championships.

"It all starts with the commitment of the players before they even get to me," said Marc Thomas, who has coached the girls tennis team since 2011 and the boys team since 2013. "They work hard in junior high and have a good skill base. They know what to expect year in and year out, and (the tradition) gives them something to try to achieve. They don't take winning for granted."