The spring season is starting to rev up, and while there will be plenty of good rivalries across the spectrum, possibly the most interesting will be in Region 2-AAAAA baseball.
Using the same formula that the basketball teams employed, Evans, Greenbrier, Grovetown and Lakeside will play each other three times in the regular season.
Region play began Friday night with Grovetown and Evans sporting 5-0 records, Lakeside at 5-1 and Greenbrier, which has been plagued by rainouts, at 2-1.
Under Mike Jones, Grovetown improved each of its first three seasons, including posting its first winning record (13-11) last year. Its 5-0 start is by far the Warriors’ best beginning to a season. Jumping from AAA to AAAAA this year, the Warriors were to be tested quickly in the region facing the defending region champion Wolfpack on Friday.
Evans and Lakeside were also scheduled to go head-to-head Friday. The Knights won five of their last eight games in 2012, losing 4-2 to Greenbrier in the region championship game, then falling to eventual Class AAAA champion Loganville in the second round of the state playoffs. With a good young nucleus, the Knights look primed to make another run at the state playoffs in 2013.
The Panthers started 7-1 in 2012, but off-the-field distractions didn’t help and they finished the year at 12-11. Six of those losses were by three runs or less and Jay Matthews’ squad will have a definite impact on the region race going forward.
One team really feeling the strength of the Region 2-AAAAA teams is Harlem, which has lost to Grovetown twice and one time each to Lakeside and Evans. No less than three attempts to play Greenbrier have been rained out.
After facing that type of competition early, which head coach Jimmie Lewis scheduled intentionally, it will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs (1-7) take out their frustrations on their Region 3-AA opponents.
In girls lacrosse, Lakeside and Greenbrier made a splash recently, finishing first and second, respectively, at the 2013 Lady Spartans Shootout in Atlanta.
Could this be the year two lacrosse teams from the county advance to the state playoffs?