By Mike Deak
GOSHEN – Northridge will get the shiny banner of excellence after winning the Northern Lakes Conference All-Sports tally for the 2019-20 athletic campaign.
The cloth banner may come with an asterisk without the benefit of a spring season, but such is.
The Raiders and Warsaw once again were at the top of the heap on both sides. Northridge edged Warsaw 77-74 in the girls race. After landing in a dead heat after the fall, a 27-24 build for the Lady Raiders buoyed by a championship in swimming helped Ridge pull ahead, and ultimately away. Northridge and Warsaw actually tied in both cross country and soccer and Ridge was runner-up in golf while Warsaw finished second in basketball.
Ridge’s titles in soccer, wrestling and basketball and runner-up spot in tennis helped the boys programs score 88 total points to stay clear of Warsaw’s 83. The Tigers won cross country and were second in swimming and soccer.
NorthWood’s three titles in volleyball, golf and basketball helped the Lady Panthers to a third-place score of 66, it’s highest place in the tally after landing fourth from 2016-18. The Panther boys also were third with 70 points, helped by a tennis title and third-place finishes in soccer, football, wrestling and basketball.
Wrapping up the girls table were Concord (4th, 55), Goshen (5th, 45), Plymouth and Memorial (T-6th, 40) and Wawasee (8th, 35).
Wrapping up the boys table were Plymouth, the football co-champ with Concord, in fourth with 63 points. and the Minutemen, co-champs in football and solo champs in swimming, in fifth with 60 points. Goshen (6th, 52), Memorial (7th, 45) and Wawasee (8th, 43) brought up the back half of the table.
The 2019-20 season is the final in the 20-year run for Elkhart Memorial, which will merge with Elkhart Central to become Elkhart High School and move to the Northern Indiana Conference.
This is the sixth time in the last 20 years Northridge has swept the All-Sports tally. Either Northridge or Warsaw has sat atop the boys or girls ledgers in each of the past 19 years, Plymouth’s girls programs last breaking the string in 1999 and 2000. Goshen’s programs broke the Raider-Tiger dominance last in 1997.