World Company Cup standings
Here are the final standings for the World Company Cup, which tallies head-to-head results involving the city’s two large-class high schools. In sports that do not compete head-to-head, a point is awarded to the team that fares better in the league meet.
Football 0 1
Volleyball 0 1
Boys soccer .5 1.5
Girls tennis 1 0
Girls golf 0 1
Boys cross country 0 1
Girls cross country 1 0
Boys swimming 1 0
Gymnastics 1 0
Boys basketball 0 2
Girls basketball 2 0
Wrestling 0 1
Boys bowling 0 1
Girls bowling 0 1
Boys tennis 1 0
Softball 2 0
Girls swimming 1 0
Girls soccer 1 0
Baseball 0 3
Boys golf 1 0
Boys track 0 1
Girls track 1 0
Totals 13.5 14.5
For the first time since its inception, the World Company Cup belongs to Lawrence High.
First presented in 2006 to the school that wins more city showdowns between rivals Lawrence and Free State, LHS finally snatched the trophy away from the Firebirds in the 2011-12 school year with a slim 14.5-13.5 edge.
The big winners for Lawrence in the battle for the cup were the boys basketball team, which swept Free State with one overtime victory and a dramatic buzzer-beater win, and the baseball team, which beat FSHS three straight times in a nine-day span in May that included a regional playoff match-up.
Earning a point in the standings for each victory, the Lions also benefited from victories in football, volleyball, boys soccer (which earned a total of 1.5 points thanks to a regular-season tie), girls golf, boys cross country, wrestling, boys and girls bowling and boys track.
The Lions and Firebirds were tied in the cup standings at 13.5 following the Sunflower League track meet, when the LHS boys and Free State girls each picked up a point. The Lions’ 4-0 regional baseball victory sealed Lawrence’s status as the city’s top athletics department for the year.
“I think it’s a big deal,” said 2012 LHS graduate Garrett Cleavinger, who caught a pass in the football team’s 20-0 victory and pitched two complete-game wins for LHS baseball. “It’s really exciting to know that we had a solid senior class all the way through, and we could finally beat out Free State in most of the sports and be dominant.”
Cleavinger was proud to be a part of the Lions’ successful year versus Free State.
“It’s gonna be four of the games that I look back on and remember in high school,” the University of Oregon-bound pitcher said, “especially it being my senior year, and we came out and took care of business.”
In baseball and basketball, recent graduate Troy Willoughby participated in five LHS victories against the Firebirds. The shortstop and back-up guard said he didn’t even know about the Cup until the Lions won it. Because he never experienced a varsity basketball victory over FSHS until his senior year, Willoughby said those victories were personally monumental.
“There was so much adrenaline, so much excitement involved, especially the second game when Shane (Willoughby, Troy’s younger brother) hit the game-winner,” he said.
Memories abounded for the Lions this past year. For graduate Kailey Wingert, few moments stood out like the volleyball team’s 3-1 city showdown victory against the Firebirds.
“I still think about it a lot, being Senior Night and all,” Wingert, an outside hitter, said. “It was really fun to be able to come in and beat them.”
Suiting up for Lawrence’s football victory over FSHS in the regular-season finale, 2012 grad Isaiah Ross said, was his favorite sports moment of the year.
“We were supposed to lose that game, and we weren’t supposed to go to the playoffs,” Ross recalled, “and we shut them out.”
A team-best series of 642 from Ross helped the LHS boys bowling team earn a showdown victory. It meant a lot to him to play a role in Lawrence High’s first World Company Cup.
“It feels great, because we got beat every single year. It feels good to finally get one,” Ross said. “Our class was better than theirs, our talent level was above theirs, so it was just time to show them.”