Games News

Who’s No. 1? We pick the top high school programs across all sports.

Who’s No. 1? We pick the top high school programs across all sports.


The 2021-22 high school sports season meant more to student-athletes and coaches than usual. After the previous two campaigns were canceled or shortened because of the pandemic, this past school year allowed many teenagers to fully explore their passions, return to normalcy and, in some cases, compete for championships.

To celebrate the D.C. area’s first full year of competition since 2018-19, The Washington Post gathered data from every sport to determine the most successful athletic programs. Assessing championship wins and appearances, All-Met teams, rankings, records, strength of competition and more, The Post tracked the top all-around athletic program from the area in five categories:

  • D.C. public school
  • Maryland public school
  • Virginia public school
  • Private school (boys)
  • Private school (girls)

D.C. public school: Jackson-Reed

The Jackson-Reed Tigers, previously known as Wilson, have long been the public program to beat in the nation’s capital. This past school year was no different; the Tenleytown school earned double-digit conference titles in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association. Among the highlights were the softball team’s 100th straight conference win in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association championship game, the boys’ basketball program producing All-Met Player of the Year and Virginia Tech signee Darren Buchanan Jr. and the boys’ rowing team traveling to the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in England after scoring victories at the Stotesbury Cup and Scholastic Rowing Association of America nationals.

Honorable mention: Bell, Dunbar, School Without Walls, Theodore Roosevelt

Maryland public school: Severna Park

The Anne Arundel County powerhouse claimed state championships in boys’ cross-country, field hockey, boys’ indoor and outdoor track and field and boys’ lacrosse. The Falcons were the state runner-up in baseball, girls’ lacrosse and softball. All of their titles came in 4A or 3A, Maryland’s highest classifications, and capped dominant seasons. In the state cross-country and indoor and outdoor track meets, Severna Park defeated the runner-up by double digits, including a 39-point differential in the 4A cross-country final. In field hockey, the Falcons claimed their Maryland record 25th title by outscoring their six postseason opponents 25-1. Severna Park also continued to make history in boys’ lacrosse, securing its sixth consecutive state crown.

Honorable mention: Churchill, Glenelg, Northern, Poolesville

Virginia public school: Madison

June 11 was the final day of the spring sports calendar in Virginia, and for the Madison Warhawks, it provided an exclamation point to an impressive school year. The boys’ lacrosse and softball teams earned Class 6 championships that day, adding more hardware to an overstuffed trophy case. Junior Simone Bergeron also earned the Class 6 singles title in girls’ tennis in the spring. In the winter, the girls’ basketball program completed a state championship three-peat behind first-team All-Met twins Alayna and Grace Arnolie. Before any of those feats, the football team emerged from a crowded and talented field of local contenders to finish as the runner-up in Class 6.

Honorable mention: Battlefield, Langley, Riverside, Stone Bridge, Yorktown

Private school (girls): Sidwell Friends

Sidwell Friends leveled up this school year, progressing from a consistently good athletic program to one that deserved and received national attention. A lot of that momentum came from the girls’ basketball team, which spent much of the winter ranked as the top team in the country. The Quakers lived up to that reputation at home and abroad, winning their conference and state titles before traveling to Florida to win the inaugural State Champions Invitational, capping a 30-0 campaign. Guard Kiki Rice, who will play at UCLA in the winter, won All-Met Player of the Year honors and multiple national player of the year accolades. Joining the basketball squad in success was the girls’ soccer team, which Rice helped to a D.C. State Athletic Association title in the fall. The girls’ tennis program also won the Independent School League.

Honorable mention: Archbishop Spalding, Bishop O’Connell, Georgetown Visitation, St. John’s

Private school (boys): St. John’s

The Cadets contended in almost every sport in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference while winning five boys’ championships in the high-powered league. The Northwest Washington school also added four titles in statewide tournaments. The highlights of those successes were undefeated football and lacrosse teams. In the fall, the football team finished 11-0 while beating opponents in one of the country’s most competitive leagues by an average of 17 points. Four football players earned first-team All-Met honors. In the spring, the lacrosse team was ranked No. 1 in the country by multiple national polls after capping a 19-0 season with its second WCAC crown. That squad generated three first-team All-Met players. The Cadets also finished atop The Post’s local rankings in hockey. They claimed the WCAC and Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League titles, and senior Andrew Kurowski was named All-Met Player of the Year. In cross-country, St. John’s won the WCAC and DCSAA titles by at least 22 points. The Cadets added DCSAA crowns in indoor and outdoor track and field led by Joshua Thompson, a Stanford football signee who received first-team All-Met honors in football, indoor track and outdoor track.

Honorable mention: Georgetown Prep, Gonzaga, Sidwell Friends, St. Albans