FARMINGTON — The 2013-2014 high schools sports season will go down as one of the most successful on record for San Juan County.
Teams brought home a total of eight blue trophies, the largest title haul in the county since the 2001-2002 season when 11 championships were won.
The championships came from a variety of sports during all three seasons.
Some, like Piedra Vista's softball and wrestling titles, kept dynasties rolling. Others, such as the ones won by Farmington football and Bloomfield wrestling, ended droughts that spanned decades.
FHS and PV led the way with three titles apiece, while Bloomfield and Aztec each chipped in one to the county's total.
The season commenced with fall sports and a football title few outside of the Farmington High locker room could have foreseen.
The Scorps ended a 61-year title-less spell with a 7-0 victory against No. 1 Goddard on Dec. 7, 2013.
"That whole deal just felt like the right time," said Jeff Dalton, Farmington High's football defensive coordinator and head track coach. "We were playing those game all at home. We didn't talk about state a whole lot during the season, but coach (Gary) Bradley did set that as one of the goals coming into the year."
FHS finished off a 12-1 year with its lone loss coming to Durango High on Sept. 19, 2013.
"The whole journey and season had everybody on board," Bradley said. "The whole city got involved, and it fired up the school."
When the winter sports season rolled around, wrestlers from the area showed they were on top of their game at the state meet.
PV brought home its fourth straight title, while Bloomfield won its first since 1984.
Along with the two team titles, eight wrestlers won individual titles for their weight classes.
"I think it shows how strong we all are," Bloomfield head coach Greg Shoemaker said. "The competition between all the schools here has been very important."
Shoemaker said the wrestling title was a "shot in the arm" to the Bloomfield program.
"The expectations have risen, and the kids are expecting to do even better next year," he said. "The school has a history of winning, whether it's in softball, baseball or track, and we want to be a part of that."
In the spring sports season, District 1-4A proved to be king, winning four titles within a matter of hours on Saturday.
The county has a long history of baseball and softball dominance, and Piedra Vista kept that tradition alive as the Panthers won their fourth baseball title in five years and their ninth straight softball championship.
PV head softball coach Kevin Werth credited the kids' work ethic and said their determination, coupled with support from the community, is what leads the schools to success.
"The basin has always had strong athletes," he said. "We go out there and prove it year after year. It shows what a great community we have and how hard the kids and coaches work."
The county also completed a sweep of the track titles on the same day as the baseball and softball championships.
The FHS boys used momentum from the football season and ran with it to their first track title.
The Aztec Lady Tigers won their second straight title in the sport with a dramatic second-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay to win the team title by a single point over Santa Fe.
Aztec got a little help from rival PV in the race.
The Lady Panthers finished ahead of Santa Fe High's Lady Demons by .11 seconds in the four-minute race to cost Santa Fe one team point — a point that would have led to the state title being shared by Aztec and Santa Fe.
Individually, San Juan County athletes claimed a total of 14 titles in track and field.
Aztec's Sarah Root was the top girls point scorer, winning the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump.
PV's Beau Clafton and Kirtland's Christian Mackey came away with a pair of titles apiece on the boys side.
The Farmington High girls tennis team got back on course as well.
After winning four straight titles from 2009-2012, the Lady Scorps fell in the finals in 2013.
FHS returned to form in 2014 with a 5-3 victory in the final against Albuquerque Academy.
Many of the kids played important roles in multiple championships.
PV had three state wrestlers — Philip Archuleta, Zach Ahlgrim and Wyatt Weaver — who also started on the baseball team, and FHS had five football players — Tierney Staley, Xander Walker, Avery Rasher, Daniel Simkins and Chayton Salcido — contribute points to the track team title.
"It was a hard transition at first," said Archuleta, who won the 4A 120-pound wrestling title and started on the mound in PV's semifinal baseball win against Academy. "But we stuck with it, and it turned out to be a successful year, and (it's) an awesome feeling with two (titles)."
Dalton saw the leadership of the players involved with the FHS football title carry over into the track season.
"Some of the senior leaders weren't the athletic standouts, but they just competed from day one," he said.
Five other teams narrowly missed titles and finished as the runner-ups in their sports.
PV volleyball and Aztec girls soccer each placed second for a second-straight season.
The Shiprock girls basketball team fell one win short of a perfect campaign, losing its final in overtime to Portales.
Aztec softball came up short against PV for the third straight year, while FHS boys tennis finished second to 12-time defending champs Academy for the fourth straight time.
On top of all the championship, dozens of athletes earned all-state honors, and hundreds claimed all-district places.
The only question left is can all the success be duplicated next year.
Werth said there is no doubt future athletes will continue to dominate.
"I think we can look at baseball and softball and see all the kids playing that grow up wanting to be champions," he said. "This area will be bringing home championships for a long time to come."