The past week may have indicated a changing of the guard in Columbia County.
On Tuesday, the Lakeside High School girls dethroned Greenbrier as the region soccer champions on their home field.
Meanwhile, a few hundred yards away, the Panthers were in the process of beating Greenbrier in baseball, relegating the defending region champs to fight for third place in the Region 2-AAAAA tournament.
On Wednesday, the Lakeside lacrosse boys finished a season sweep of Greenbrier and clinched a spot in the Class AAAAA Boys State Lacrosse Championship.
One week does not a year make, but what I meant by changing of the guard is the race for the Georgia Athletic Directors Association’s Region Directors Cup.
Last year, while Greenbrier was ranked fifth in the state, the Wolfpack was the region winner for the fifth consecutive year.
That might be coming to a halt. Points are determined by how well teams do in the state postseason. Teams earn 100 points for a state title, 90 points as state runners-up, and then points are scaled down the line. Last year, Lakeside led Greenbrier by 121 points entering the spring season before Greenbrier came back to best the Panthers by 29 points in the end. The Panthers might be able to return the favor by the school year’s end, as they entered the spring trailing 288 to 191.
Both school’s baseball teams are in the state playoffs, but the Panthers should have an easier path as a No. 1 or 2 seed. Greenbrier has two soccer teams at state to one for Lakeside, and both schools should score well at the state track meet.
Tennis, lacrosse and golf might be the sports that put the Panthers over the top. Both Lakeside tennis teams have been dominant and advanced to the state’s second round, while Greenbrier’s girls team is the only one competing. With a win against Southwest DeKalb Saturday, the Lakeside girls might have clinched a spot in the state playoffs.
Last year the Lady Panthers won the Class AAAA golf state championship, while the boys were runner-up. If they can repeat, that might be the tipping point.
But not so fast. The Lakeside girls were the class of Region 2-AAAAA golf on Tuesday, beating their nearest competitor Warner Robins by a 243-324 margin with Eunice Yi as the low medalist with a 1-under 71.
The Greenbrier boys made a statement, however, winning the region title by seven strokes over Lakeside. Greenbrier head coach Alex Heider and his squad do not have to compete in sectionals, advancing directly to the state championship on May 20, but Heider expects the Panthers to be there as well and one of the favorites to win it. Panther freshman Hunter Dunagan was the region’s low man with an even par-72.