The first spring state champions were crowned this past weekend, and several familar faces led the charge.
While neither team entered the state semifinals as the favorite, their victories are no surprise.
Wando was the preseason FAB 50 No. 1 team after finishing last year in the top spot. A pair of regular season losses left them looking up at Dutch Fork (S.C.) and Clover (S.C.) most of the season. But when crunch time arrived, it was Wando that delivered the OT win over J.L. Mann in the boys final.
J.L. Mann girls lost to River Bluff (S.C.) during the regular season and settled into third most of the season behind River Bluff and [Wando sc-g], which tied their head-to-head match and won all of their other contests. Wando then edged River Bluff in the state semifinals before falling to J.L. Mann in the final 1-0.
In Alabama, Vestavia Hills (Ala.) girls wrapped up a perfect season with a 2-0 win over McGill-Toolen (Ala.). That result will secure a Top 10 finish for Vestavia Hills, which will be the best by an Alabama program since the Briarwood Christian (Ala.) dynasty of the late 1990s and early 2000s, led by Cat Reddick.
In Oklahoma, Jenks (Okla.) boys capped a perfect season to stay in the FAB 50 national title running, edging [Union ok-m] (Okla.) in penalty kicks following a 1-1 state final match. On the girls side, Norman North was a surprise champion following a four-loss regular season. The team got hot in the playoffs and posted four straight shutout victories to capture the crown.
Click below for the latest state and regional rankings ...