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SPORTS CHAT: What Cape Breton high school has the most provincial titles over the past 50 years?

Sydney Academy has won the most high school hockey provincial titles at the Division 1 level in Cape Breton in the past 50 years. Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation records have the Sydney school winning at least seven since 1970. The championship 1982 team included from left, front, Reid Campbell, Duncan MacIntyre, Jack MacNeil (assistant coach), Robbie MacNeil, Dugga MacNeil (coach), Jerry Delaney and John Pierre; middle, Richie MacDonald, Kevin MacNeil, Dougie MacNeil, Greg Martell, Mark MacDonald and Whitfield Best; back, Terry Drohan, Dougie Ross, Blair Donovan, Tommy MacNeil, Ray Abbass and Brian MacArthur. CAPE BRETON POST FILE
Sydney Academy has won the most high school hockey provincial titles at the Division 1 level in Cape Breton in the past 50 years. Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation records have the Sydney school winning at least seven since 1970. The championship 1982 team included from left, front, Reid Campbell, Duncan MacIntyre, Jack MacNeil (assistant coach), Robbie MacNeil, Dugga MacNeil (coach), Jerry Delaney and John Pierre; middle, Richie MacDonald, Kevin MacNeil, Dougie MacNeil, Greg Martell, Mark MacDonald and Whitfield Best; back, Terry Drohan, Dougie Ross, Blair Donovan, Tommy MacNeil, Ray Abbass and Brian MacArthur. CAPE BRETON POST FILE

Winning a provincial title at any level is an accomplishment for athletes.

From game-winning goals to turning points in the game to the dedication and desire to win, the memories that accompany championship titles are ones that are never forgotten.

But when you win a championship for your school, it's an extra sense of pride. Not only did you win for your teammates, but also your classmates and community.

In Cape Breton, that pride has always seemed to be extra special.

Why?

Maybe it's because Cape Breton schools and communities are small, making winning a provincial title more of a challenge compared to schools in bigger areas like Halifax with more population and a bigger pool of players to choose from.

Over the past 50 years, Cape Breton high schools have won more than 275 provincial titles at various levels ranging from Division 1 to Division 4, according to Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation records.

Since the 1969-70 season, Inverness has won the most high school titles (37) on the island. Among the 37 wins, 23 championships came in volleyball, while the school, now known as Inverness Education Centre/Academy, collected seven hockey titles.

The majority of Inverness' titles came at the Division 3 level. The first on record by the NSSAF is the 1970 boys basketball team, which captured the 'B' title.

Meanwhile, at the Division 1 level, Sydney Academy holds the record for most provincial titles. The school has 27 championships and is tied with Cabot High School in Neils Harbour (27) for the second-most among all schools in Cape Breton.

In Cape Breton, that pride has always seemed to be extra special.

Sydney Academy won at least seven titles in hockey since 1970 including twice winning back-to-back-to-back championships from 1974-76 and again from 1980-82.

Sydney Academy also has four badminton titles as well as one curling crown. The school is tied with Baddeck Academy for curling victories.

In basketball, the former Margaree Forks and District High School, now combined with Cape Breton Highlands Academy, won seven championships.

École NDA of Cheticamp leads the way for overall hockey titles with 10. The school also has three championships in both soccer and slopitch. École NDA and Mabou are tied for the most slopitch victories.

In soccer, Breton Education Centre has the most provincial titles (14) in the sport. The most recent came last month when the boys' team captured its first title in 13 years.

Glace Bay High School also holds championship records in both baseball and cheerleading. The school has three baseball titles and six cheerleading provincial victories.

Meanwhile, Cabot has 13 wrestling titles and five skiing championships, the most of any school on the island.

Cape Breton Highlands Academy leads the charge in table tennis. The Terre Noire school has 13 titles in the sport.

Baddeck Academy and Dalbrae Academy of Mabou round things out with single victories in separate sports. Baddeck has one golf title, while Dalbrae has one fast-pitch championship.

There were various highlights among the championships.

Baddeck Academy won the first-ever golf provincial title in 2001, according to the NSSAF.

Dalbrae Academy made history in 2002 when they were crowned the first-ever NSSAF female hockey champions, defeating Dr. J.H. Gillis of Antigonish in the final.

Breton Education Centre won the NSSAF's first-ever baseball provincial title in 2003. Memorial High School would follow, winning back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005, before Auburn Drive from the Halifax area broke the Cape Breton streak, beating Glace Bay in the final in 2006.

Despite the records made available by the NSSAF, the organization did not provide championship winners for the following years: 1976-77, 1977-78, 1983-84 and 1997-98, meaning more Cape Breton school championships may not be included in the statistics.

OVERALL PROVINCIAL TITLES SINCE 1970
- Inverness - 37
- Sydney Academy - 27
- Cabot High School - 27
- Cape Breton Highlands Academy - 24
- École NDA - 21
- Riverview High School - 20
- Margaree Forks - 19
- Breton Education Centre - 17
- Strait Area Education Recreation Centre - 17
- Baddeck Academy - 15
- Glace Bay High School - 13
- Dalbrae Academy - 10
- Whycocomagh - 8
- Mabou - 7
- Memorial High School - 6
- Port Hood - 3
- Isle Madame - 3
- Richmond - 2
- Holy Angels - 1
- St. Peter's - 1
Note: Championships were won at various different levels including Division 1, Division 2, Division 3 and Division 4.
Note: Data from the following years -1976-77, 1977-78, 1983-84 and 1997-98 - were not available from the NSSAF.
 

Jeremy Fraser covers sports for the Cape Breton Post. He welcomes column ideas, sports story suggestions or feedback about this week’s Sports Chat. You can follow Jeremy on Twitter @CBPost_Jeremy.

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