2017 Class 5A Girl’s State Champions — Chamblee Lady Bulldogs (25-0)

The Chamblee High School athletics program broke 36 years of tough luck in the DCSD All-Sports Award by capturing the 2017 award by 5.5 points over Arabia Mountain.

At the end of the 1981-82 athletic season DeKalb County began recognizing the best overall athletic program in the county with the DCSD All-Sports Award. That same year Chamblee came in second by ½ point to Lakeside for the first ever DCSD All-Sports Award.

The Bulldogs’ athletics would come in second on three other occasions during the next 35 years being runner-up to Lakeside all three years. Lakeside, 14-time winners of the award, once again in 2000 narrowly won the award over Chamblee 213.0-211.5. The 2001 award went to Lakeside 282.0-226.0 and in 2008 Lakeside held off Chamblee 326.5-317.5.

Chamblee’s excellent performance in girls’ athletics this school year was a key to the first All-Sports Award for the school.

Coach Larisa Tulchinsky’s Lady Bulldogs’ tennis team won the program’s first girls’ state tennis title by defeating Starr’s Mill 3-2 to finish the year undefeated at 25-0. It was the county’s first girls’ tennis title since 1984. Tulchinsky’s boys’ tennis team finished as Region 5-5A champs and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs.

Chamblee’s volleyball team coached by Lorri Reynolds won its Area title, advanced to the Elite 8 of the Class 5A state playoffs and finished with a 37-9 record on the season. Reynolds teamed with Greg Valley to lead the Lady Bulldogs’ swim team to a Classes 1A-5A runner-up finish and the boys to their third consecutive third place finish at state.

The Lady Bulldog basketball and golf teams also made state playoff appearances this year under the guidance of Coach Kurt Koeplin. Coach Alan Loper’s fastpitch softball team finished third in the region and made the Class 5A state playoffs.

Coach Chloe Kaspar’s Lady Bulldog soccer team won the Region 5-5A title and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Class 5A tournament before falling to eventual state champion McIntosh to finish 13-4-1 on the season.

The Lady Bulldogs’ track team finished third in both the DCSD Track and Field Championships and the Region 5-5A Championships under the direction of Coach Erica Harris.

Coach Brian Ely’s Chamblee Bulldog Baseball team won a school record 22 games to finish second in the Region 5-5A standings and advancing to the state playoffs.

Chamblee’s athletic performance in the 2016-17 school year also stacked up solidly statewide with an 11th place finish overall in the Georgia Athletic Director’s Cup with a combined 707.0 points in girls’ and boys’ athletics. The Lady Bulldogs finished seventh in the girls’ standings with 477.0 points.

Arabia Mountain’s Carl White (with ball) dives to the corner of the end zone for a first half touchdown in the Ram’s historic first playoff game victory. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Arabia Mountain put together its best athletic season in school history and if not for the Chamblee state tennis title would have bested Chamblee for the 2017 All-Sports Award. The second place finish is the highest for Arabia Mountain in the school’s eight years of athletic competition.

The year got off to an exciting start as the Arabia Mountain Rams football team won the Region 5-5A No. 1 seed, picked up its first ever playoff berth and victory in advancing to the Class 5A Sweet 16 under Coach Stanley Pritchett.

Coach Eric Hoxie picked up a pair of firsts in leading both the girls’ fastpitch softball team (21-9) and the Rams’ baseball team (22-11) to their first ever playoff series victories. It was the first softball first round win for DeKalb since 2009 and the Rams’ first baseball region title.

Coach Nathaniel Webb led the Arabia Mountain boys’ track team to a Region 5-5A title and a 9th place finish in the Class 5A Track and Field Championships.

The rest of the Top 5 in points included Lakeside (292.0) in third, Tucker (283.5) in fourth and the past three years award winner Dunwoody (252.0) in fifth.