There have been many times in past years where this unofficial competition has been decided by just a handful of points.
The 2021-2022 athletics year for 10-6A is not one of them.
With consistent success across the board, it was Rockwall who separated from the pack to lay claim to the title of best athletics program in the district.
For the sake of this comparison, The Mesquite News looked at how each team did during their respective 10-6A seasons, as well as at the district cross country and track and field meets.
There was no additional credit given to playoff success, nor were tiebreakers/play-in games factored in.
In each sport, teams were awarded points based on their finish in district play (7 for first place, 6 for second place, etc.).
In addition, only sports that had full participation were counted, meaning swimming, golf and tennis, among others, were not factored in because one or more schools did not field a team.
Given that criteria, it was the Yellowjackets who pulled away to claim the unofficial title of 10-6A all-around champion for the 2021-2022 school year.
Here is the breakdown:
The Yellowjackets have long been one of the most consistently successful athletics program in the region and this past school year was certainly no different.
Rockwall did not finish lower than third in any sport that was used as criteria for this competition.
What is even more impressive is that success also carries over into sports such as golf, tennis, wrestling and others that the Yellowjackets compete in, but were not used in this analysis.
Rockwall not only qualified for the playoffs in all eight standings-based sports, it captured seven district championships in the 14 sports that were considered.
The Yellowjackets hit the ground running last fall with the volleyball team rolling to the 10-6A championship.
Led by most valuable player Becca Kelley, outstanding attacker Madison Goellner and outstanding blocker Kylie Nott, Rockwall did not drop a set en route to a perfect 12-0 district season.
On the gridiron, the Yellowjackets finished second to earn their ninth consecutive playoff appearance.
Rockwall kept it going at the 10-6A cross country meet, were it swept the team titles, with Tre Hudson winning the boys individual championship and Saylor Stevenson crossing the finish line first in the girls race.
The Yellowjackets might not have been as strong on the basketball court as they have been in recent years, but both the girls and boys teams still qualified for the playoffs.
And when the calendar turned to 2022, Rockwall took it to the next level.
District coach of the year Melissa Garcia, co-offensive player of the year Avery Shipman, defensive player of the year Mia Nunez and 11 other all-district performers led the girls soccer team to an undefeated 10-6A championships, while the boys finished second.
The Yellowjackets kept things going by sweeping the team titles at the district track and field meet and then closed the athletics year in style.
Behind most valuable player Ashley Minor, pitcher of the year Ainsley Pemberton, newcomer of the year Rylie Swindall and led by coach of the year Leah Campbell, Rockwall dominated the 10-6A slate, never allowing more than one run in any game and giving up just five total runs en route to an undefeated district championship.
The baseball team finished second behind its rivals at Rockwall-Heath, but would ultimately advance to the regional championship, before again coming up short against the Hawks in a memorable three-game series.
As the lone school from East Texas competing in the 6A classification, the Raiders are sometimes overlooked, but they have consistently been able to represent their region in sports across the board.
That was no different in 2021-2022, where Legacy qualified for the playoffs in seven of the eight standings-based sports to finish second in this competition.
The Raiders got things going by qualifying for the postseason in both volleyball and football, with the latter team shocking undefeated Garland in the bi-district round.
It continued at the district cross country meet, where the girls finished second and the boys took fourth.
The Legacy girls basketball team earned a runner-up finish and the girls soccer team qualified for the postseason.
It was also on the pitch where the Raiders won their lone district championship, as 10-6A most valuable player Noe Robles, defensive player of the year Esteban Rodriguez and co-coach of the year Marty Germany helped lead them to the perch atop the standings.
Legacy finished strong in the spring, as well, with the girls and boys track and field teams each placing second and the softball and baseball teams also qualifying for the playoffs.
The Hawks were also a consistent contender in many sports, making the playoffs in seven out of eight standings-based sports, and some of their best teams were not only the tops in the district, but also in the state.
Rockwall-Heath hit the ground running with a second-place finish from the volleyball team and it then made history on the gridiron, winning its first district championship since 2008.
Led by 10-6A coach of the year Mike Spradlin, most valuable player Josh Hoover, co-defensive newcomer of the year Bryce President and 10 other first-team honorees, the Hawks pulled out a memorable 79-71 victory over Rockwall and rode that momentum to an undefeated district title and a trip to the regional semifinals.
Rockwall-Heath got top-three finishes from the cross country teams, the boys basketball team finished in a tie for second and both soccer squads made the postseason, as well.
The softball team finished third to punch its playoff ticket and then all eyes turned to the diamond, where the Hawks set out to defend their Class 6A state championship.
Rockwall-Heath took care of business during the 10-6A season to capture the district championship behind most valuable player Jonny Lowe, offensive most valuable player Jett Williams underclassman of the year Brady Ladusau and coach of the year Greg Harvey.
The Hawks rekindled some of that late-season magic, finding ways to survive and advance each round before outlasting rival Rockwall in three games in the regional finals.
Unfortunately for Rockwall-Heath, there would be no storybook ending, as a loss to San Antonio Reagan in the state semifinals ended its dream of back-to-back championships.
The Jaguars have enjoyed the most consistent success across the board among their Mesquite ISD contemporaries in recent years and it was no different in 2021-2022.
Horn made the playoffs in five of the eight spots, highlighting by the girls and boys basketball teams sweeping the 10-6A titles.
The Jaguars opened the athletics year by seeing the volleyball team qualify for the playoffs for the third time in four years.
The boys cross country team also turned in a strong effort, finishing second, led by top-five finishes from Alejandro Villalva and Omari Sandifer.
Though Horn has seen success at times from all its programs, none of done so with the consistency of the girls basketball team.
The Jaguars have never missed the playoffs since their inaugural campaign in 2002-2003, a streak of 20 consecutive seasons.
This past season, with coach of the year Whitney Long, offensive player of the year Da’Lonna Choice and first-teamers Dasia Robinson and Vernell Atamah, Horn shook off an early loss to Tyler Legacy by winning its final 10 games to catch and overtake the Raiders for the outright 10-6A crown, which was its second in a row and sixth in the last seven years.
The Jaguar boys had no such close ending, as it rolled to an undefeated 12-0 record, outdistancing the rest of the field by three games.
District coach of the year Ondra Waddy, most valuable player Bryson Smith, offensive MVP Yai Koinyang and first-teamers Sean Moning and Jordan Williams helped Horn make its third straight playoff appearance and win just the second district title in program history.
In the spring, the Jaguars girls soccer team made its seventh straight trip to the playoffs after a runner-up finish, the boys track and field team placed fourth and the softball team was back in the postseason for the 13th time in the last 15 years.
The Skeeters did not bring home any district championships during the last year, but they were competitive across the board and had a pair of teams qualify for the playoffs.
On the gridiron, Mesquite was coming off a two-win campaign, but turned it around in its first season under new head coach DeMarcus Harris.
With 10-6A co-defensive most valuable player Marlon Thompson-Leatch and first-teamers in quarterback Chance Edwards, defensive linemen Ashton Donald and Cornelius Darden and linebackers Forest Gatlin and Joshua Williams, the Skeeters finished third in the district standings and stunned favored Sachse in the bi-district round to reach the area finals.
Mesquite got a third-place effort from the boys cross country team, but both basketball squads finished one spot out of the playoffs.
The boys track and field team had a strong effort to finish second overall and the Skeeters ended the year on a high note.
Behind all-district performers in pitchers Addison Patton, Kaleb Lair and Brian Lee, catcher Luis Castillo, infielder Steve Rodriguez and utility player Adrian Davenport, Mesquite edged out Horn to finish fourth and earn its first playoff berth since 2016.
It was a tough all-around year for the Raiders, as many of their better programs in recent times had down seasons.
The girls basketball team was the only one to qualify for the playoffs after it finished fourth in 10-6A, while Skyline also had some highlights at the district track and field meet, where both the girls and boys placed third.
As one of the smaller programs in 6A—one that will drop down to 5A for the upcoming year—the Stallions found it rough competing against other programs that had hundreds more students than they do.
Though it led to some tough times, there were some highlights during the last year.
In boys basketball, defensive most valuable player Tamorrian Grigsby, first-teamer Cordale Russell and second-teamers Corey Love and Dalan Hicks helped lead North Mesquite to the playoffs.
It was their first postseason berth in four years and just their second since 2008.
The most consistent team for the Stallions in recent years has been the boys soccer team and they delivered once again.
With midfielder of the year Josue Turrubiartes and first-teamers Jacob Perez, Jonathan Zuniga, Jorge Cedillo and Derrick Gomez Alvarado, co-coach of the year Scott Helverson guided North Mesquite back to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and the eighth time in the last nine opportunities.