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The rest of the fall season begins this week

Posted: August 16, 2015 - 12:05am  |  Updated: August 16, 2015 - 1:08am

With softball and volleyball well under way, this coming week marks the beginning of the last four sports that county high schools have to offer.

That’s right, four. In addition to football and cross country, it is also swim and tennis season for Augusta Christian.

Six of the schools start football Friday night with Grovetown being the lone exception. I would imagine the coaching staff will take the opportunity to get a look at county rivals.

The Warriors open at Harlem on Sept. 28, and to get a look they just have to head up William Few Parkway to catch the
Bulldogs in action at Greenbrier. If they want to check out their second oppponent, they have to go a bit farther as Evans travels to Westside or they could stay in and watch Lakeside play host to North Augusta in the first televised game of the year.

Of course there is one more rivalry game, one that started just a year ago. After opening the season on the road at Augusta Prep last year, the Augusta Christian Lions play host to the Cavaliers on Friday. That’s the game I’ll be covering. I wouldn’t say that the teams are mirror images of one another, but they have enough similarities that it will be interesting to see who comes out on top and by how much.

Greenbrier playing host to Harlem is another intriguing game. Both have new coaches - Tony Kramer at Greenbrier and Todd Booker at Harlem - and both are looking to get off to a fast start to begin erasing memories of disappointing 2014 seasons. I imagine the stadium at Greenbrier will be packed with fans of each team as each new year always brings renewed hope.

For Lakeside, it will be the first test for a team that lost more than 20 seniors from its 2014 squad.

Cross country teams start out with a tough field at the NEGA Cross Country Championships in Athens, Ga., on Saturday.

Boys’ cross country will have voids to fill as Lakeside’s Christian Bowles, Evans’ Justin Weegar and Greenbrier’s Logan Hughes have graduated. There are a few candidates waiting in the wings and I expect one of the Columbia County runners to win the Region 2-AAAAA title again.

I don’t know what the other schools offer on the girls’ side, but Lakeside junior Alyssa Hooker is back, which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the region. Or the state, as she starts the 2015 season as the defending Class AAAAA state champion.

As always, we’ll have to see how everything plays out, but it should be an exciting fall season at the least.

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