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Mainland, OCHS share 2017-18 Ed Byrnes Memorial Award

Tony Surace (left) looks on as Ocean City's Vince Leavey (center) and Mainland's Mike Gatley hold the Ed Byrnes Memorial All-Sports Award. The Raiders and Mustangs tied for the award


After St. Augustine junior Cole Vanderslice pitched a two-hit shutout on Saturday night in the state baseball final to complete the final sports action of the school year by Cape-Atlantic League teams, it became official.

Ocean City High School and Mainland Regional had tied for the Ed Byrnes Memorial All-Sports Award for 2017-18.

It marked the sixth straight school year in which the Raiders have either won or shared the award, a first in the 28 years the award has been presented. It was the 16th time overall Ocean City has won or shared the award and the seventh time for Mainland, which last won in 2003.

OCHS edged Mainland by just one point last year.

Ocean City got off to a great start in the fall with a South Jersey championship in both girls soccer and girls cross country. Mainland got a South Jersey title in boys soccer. In the winter, the Mustangs registered a state title in boys swimming and conference championship in girls basketball. The Raiders added a South Jersey title in girls basketball and league championships in girls lacrosse, boys cross country and baseball. Mainland also won in boys lacrosse and softball.

The all-sports award was created by Prime Events and Schoppy Inc. in 1991. It was renamed in memory of Byrnes, the longtime athletics director and football coach at Holy Spirit, after he died in February, 1996. Byrnes was president of the CAL for six years and had just won his 100th football victory three months before his death.

The system used to determine a school’s final score in the competition awards points for championships won – both CAL and NJSIAA – with bonuses for the number of different sports in which they were won. Under this system, which rewards a sports program’s versatility, a school that wins one championship in each of two different sports will get a higher score than if it won two championships in the same sport. Only sports in which the CAL crowns a champion are considered.

Among 2017-18 highlights:

  • Ocean City has been first or tied for first in Cape May County in 20 of the last 21 years.
  • Augustine had won Atlantic County eight times in the previous 14 years before Mainland won this year.
  • Wildwood Catholic ended Middle Township’s streak of being tops in the Coast Big Five for seven straight years.
  • Augustine had the highest score in boys sports for the 17th time in the last 20 years.
  • Ocean City was first in girls sports for the eighth straight year and 19th time in the award’s 28 years.



1. Mainland                   17
1. Ocean City                 17
3. St. Augustine            14
4. Holy Spirit                12
5. Wildwood Catholic  9

2016-17           Ocean City
2015-16           Ocean City
2014-15           Ocean City
2013-14           Ocean City
2012-13           Ocean City
2011-12           Middle Township/Ocean City (tie)
2010-11           St. Augustine
2009-10          Holy Spirit
2008-09         Holy Spirit/Ocean City (tie)
2007-08         St. Augustine
2006-07         Ocean City
2005-06         Ocean City
2004-05         St. Augustine
2003-04         St. Augustine
2002-03         Mainland
2001-02          Mainland
2000-01          Ocean City/St. Augustine (tie)
1999-2000      Absegami
1998-99           Ocean City
1997-98           Ocean City/Vineland (tie)
1996-97           Mainland
1995-96           Mainland
1994-95           Ocean City
1993-94           Ocean City
1992-93           Ocean City
1991-92           Mainland
1990-91           Mainland


Public School               Mainland/Ocean City
Non-Public                   St. Augustine
Group 4                         Millville
Group 3                         Mainland/Ocean City
Group 2                         Middle Township
Non-Public B               Holy Spirit
Atlantic County           Mainland
Cape May County        Ocean City
Cumberland County   Millville
Coast Big Five              Wildwood Catholic
Boys Sports                  St. Augustine
Girls Sports                  Ocean City
Fall Sports                    Ocean City
Winter Sports               Mainland
Spring Sports                St. Augustine