By Erik Harris, sports editor
TRUSSVILLE — Players and coaches squeezed in for a photo with the highest ranking city officials at their back, smiling. Each of the 26 photographed proudly holding their No. 1 pose.
The spring sports season had recently adjourned, cutting students loose for the summer months ahead and turning the page on the winningest year Hewitt-Trussville athletics has ever seen.
It was a dominant showing that put the blue map in head coach Taylor Burt’s hands, as her girls scattered 17 hits and 16 RBIs on Fairhope in the state finals on May 21 — an assertive finish to a supreme year of Husky sports.
In total, Hewitt-Trussville High produced a school record three state championships during the 2020-21 academic year, marking the program’s first time hooking multiple titles in the same year since 1998-99 when the Huskies garnered indoor and outdoor girls state track and field championships.
“Having a historic year like we did this year takes a total team effort,” said TCS Athletics Director Lance Walker. “We are blessed with dedicated student-athletes and top-notch coaches. Our district and school administration supports us and sets the table for success. We appreciate the city of Trussville for their support and encouragement.”
Burt and the girls collected a 49-3-1 record en route to the softball team’s second straight state crown. The school also claimed AHSAA titles in both the boys and girls indoor track and field championships back in February thanks to a quick statement from first-year head coach Tom Esslinger.
Bolstering the historic season were Class 7A runner-up outputs from the Hewitt-Trussville girls basketball team, boys outdoor track and field team, and girls outdoor track and field team.
|Boys indoor track & field||38-0||State champs||Tom Esslinger|
|Girls indoor track & field||38-0||State champs||Tom Esslinger|
|Softball||49-3-1||State champs||Taylor Burt (7A Coach of the Year)|
|Girls basketball||29-5||State runner-up||Tonya Hunter (7A Coach of the Year)|
|Boys outdoor track & field||140-2||State runner-up||Tom Esslinger|
|Girls outdoor track & field||143-3||State runner-up||Tom Esslinger|
The six maps (representing state championship and state runner-up teams) collected by Husky clubs in 2020-21 are easily the most in school history for a single year, shattering the previous record of two, which was achieved four times in Hewitt history (2018-19, 2010-11, 1998-99, 1988-89). HTHS and Auburn are tied for second in 7A with six maps awarded this academic year. Hoover led the way with eight maps, including three state championships.
The Bucs (2,126) and the Tigers (2,034) rank first and second, respectively, in state enrollment while the Huskies check in at No. 25 with 1,167 students.
“Our athletic teams represented our school and city in a first-class manner this year,” said Walker. “Winning three state championships and having three runner-up finishes is an incredible feat.”
See a rundown of other top 2020-21 Hewitt-Trussville squads below.
Girls cross country
Won more than 80% of their contests and finished third at the AHSAA state meet – the school’s best-ever finish.
Finished 51-8 on the year and took third in the Class 7A state championships in Huntsville thanks in part to an individual state championship from 195-pounder Hunter Jones and runner-up finishes from Logan Reaves and Lucas Reaves.
Won a sub-state championship and advanced to the program’s first Class 7A final four in Mobile, where they placed fourth in a weather-shortened tournament.
Boys cross country
Took fourth place in the AHSAA state meet for the best Hewitt finish since 2011.
Went 17-4 on the year on their way to a state semifinal run, which matches the top finish in program history.
Advanced to the Class 7A state quarterfinals for the first time in program history on their way to a 91-8 record.
Reached the Class 7A quarterfinals for the third time in four years and finished at No. 3 in the final Alabama Sports Writers Association poll.
Put together a school record 17-game winning streak and finished at the top of the Class 7A rankings. Hewitt ended its season in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs with a record of 28-6.
Walker challenges the entire community to strive for similar success in the future.
“We should all be proud of our accomplishments, but should ask ourselves, ‘Where do we go from here?’ The first school year of the decade was historic, but what will people say at the end of the decade? Will 2020-21 be the highlight of the decade or will we look back at and say, ‘That was the year where it all started?’ Everyone in the community will need to make a commitment in order for us to continue competing at a championship level.”