Greenbrier High School’s baseball team is riding high. The Wolfpack (28-2)
are ranked No. 1 in the state and have also won 20 games in a row after sweeping perennial power Marist in two consecutive games in the Class AAAA state quarterfinals.
On Monday, Greenbrier plays host to Whitewater in the final four as it tries to move one step closer to their amazing sixth state championship. The first game is set for 5 p.m., and Greenbrier officials are asking all former Greenbrier athletes to attend the game.
Certainly they would love for all the alumni to come out and root on the team, but they have an additional reason for the request. In between the two games, at approximately 6:45 p.m., there will be a ceremony to honor the first two inductees into the Greenbrier Athletics Hall of Fame.
One of the inductees was an obvious choice, and a name most everyone in Columbia County knows: legendary coach Terry Holder.
Holder left Evans High in 1996 to become Greenbrier’s first athletic director, head football coach and head baseball coach. The move could not have been an easy one. He had built Evans into a baseball powerhouse, having won five state titles in a seven-year span between 1988-1994.
The move didn’t slow down the winning. Holder pulled off a feat that likely will never be equaled when he led the Wolfpack to three consecutive state baseball titles in the school’s first three years of existence.
Most everyone remembers all the baseball success, but what some people forget is the early football success Greenbrier had with Holder at the helm. The ’Pack earned trips to the state playoffs in each of his three seasons as head coach.
After the 1999 season, Holder passed over the reins to a pair of his longtime friends and
assistant coaches – Mickey Derrick in football and Ed Williams in baseball. Holder stepped down having won more high school baseball games than anyone in Georgia history, and also left having won an astonishing eight state titles in a 12-year span.
Also being honored with induction is supporter Ed Amerson.
His name might not be as well known as Holder’s, but among the Greenbrier family, his selection was a no-brainer.
Back in 2006, I wrote a column about Amerson that detailed his life and connection to Greenbrier. I think the fact that he will be side by side with longtime friend Holder as an inductee tells you what he means to Greenbrier.
Following Greenbrier’s state softball championship in 2004, head coach Garrett Black made sure Amerson was fitted for a championship ring.
“He just did so much for the program,” Black said of Amerson.
“Not only was he at every game, and many practices, but he also was always willing to feed the team or step up if there was ever any kind of need.”
Williams also included Amerson in a special moment with his team.
When Williams got word that Amerson was heartbroken that he would not be able to attend the team’s state championship game in 2006 due to a long-planned church trip, Williams did something he had never done before: He asked Amerson to address the team after a practice. After Amerson’s emotional pre-game pep talk there was not a dry eye in the house.
And Greenbrier would go on to sweep through the finals to claim their fourth title.
Black, now Greenbrier’s athletic director, says Amerson’s influence on the team is much more than that of a loyal fan.
“He will do cookouts for the teams, and not just the players,” he said. “He will invite their families, too. It has really helped form a family-type atmosphere here at Greenbrier.”
So if you are a former Greenbrier athlete or supporter, please make plans to be at The Brierpatch on Monday as the school honors two very special people, and as the baseball team tries to advance to the state finals.
Also at Greenbrier, the school will hold a fastpitch softball clinic May 29 through June 1, featuring former Lady Wolfpack star and current University of Alabama softball player Kayla Hunt.
For information, call Black at (706) 650-6040.
Attention golfers: Make plans to play a round at Bartram Trail Golf Club Friday through Memorial Day to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Bartram Trail head golf pro Robby Watson has announced that a portion of all green fees during the four-day span will be donated to LLS as part of their 2012 Man and Woman of the Year Campaign.