For the second consecutive school year, Pickerington High School North had the highest point total of the 32 members of the OCC en route to winning the Ralph Young All-Sports Award in the Ohio Division.

For the second consecutive school year, Pickerington High School North had the highest point total of the 32 members of the OCC en route to winning the Ralph Young All-Sports Award in the Ohio Division.

North totaled 111 points. New Albany (108) repeated in the OCC-Capital. First-time winners were Dublin Coffman (110) in the OCC-Central and Westerville Central (80.5) in the OCC-Cardinal.

"We talked about winning this award at the beginning of the school year," North athletics director Mark Aprile said. "It's a great measuring stick and it's a goal for us because it represents accomplishment across the board in all sports. It's a great statement for the entire athletic department because it doesn't emphasize one sport over another.

"It signifies that we have top-caliber coaches, diversified and multi-talented student-athletes and strong community support."

This is the second year the trophy has been awarded. It is given to the school in each division that performs the best across the conference's 16 common sports. Eight points are awarded for a first-place finish, seven for a second, six for a third and so on.

The award is named in honor of the longtime Ohio Capital Conference secretary. Young also is a former athletics director at Delaware, he has been a track official for 38 years and he manages basketball tournaments at the sectional, district and regional levels for the Ohio High School Athletic Association. He currently serves as treasurer of the OHSAA's Central District.

Finishing behind North were Gahanna (98.5), Pickerington Central (86), Reynoldsburg (68.5), Lancaster (66), Grove City (57), Newark (49.5) and Groveport (39).

Among the eight common sports in the fall, the Panthers won titles in girls volleyball, girls soccer, girls cross country and boys golf.

"This is a prestigious league and I think we are a model for other schools," volleyball coach Kris Kern said. "I think a large part of our success comes from expectations. We expect to win in most sports. We're trying to increase those expectations to include district championships and would like to be in conversations about state championships.

"I'm proud the volleyball team contributed to this. We had a good season. Like in most sports here, the players are prepared to work, get great support from parents, the community and the athletic department, and I think we have great coaches across the board as well."

Overall, the Panthers won six titles and shared a seventh. The boys track and baseball teams won titles and the boys basketball team shared first place.

"I think it's a great accomplishment and shows what we already knew - that athletics is a big part of the community," baseball coach Tim Thomas said. "We have skill in all sports and we have depth because the students are interested in competition.

"As for our team, we had 13 seniors and overall it was a very great group of kids. They worked hard and were successful. But just as important, they were a close-knit team and very enjoyable to coach. That makes it really fun."

While winning titles helped boost the overall point total, what separated North from the rest of the OCC-Ohio was consistency across all sports. The Panthers' worst finish in any sport was fifth place by the softball team. Every other sport was at least in the top half of the standings.

In the fall, the girls tennis and boys soccer teams were runners-up. In the winter, the girls basketball team was second. In the spring, boys tennis and girls track and field both finished second.

Rounding out the sports were boys cross country (third), wrestling (tied for third) and football (fourth).

"The point is that when we didn't win a league title, we were in the running for most of them," Aprile said. "I absolutely feel this is special. It's another piece of our entire educational process. I know these are extracurricular activities, but part of teaching students is teaching them how to be successful, in the classroom and in all avenues of their lives. It's a positive piece that the community can see when it looks at the school system."