Private-school sports programs generally have fewer athletes than their public-school counterparts, so in order to raise their level of play, private schools focus on quality over quantity.
Augusta Christian School had both quality and quantity, which is why AC emerged as the winningest prep program in Columbia County during the 2002-03 school year.
The point totals for all six county high schools were compiled through a non-scientific system employed by the Columbia County News-Times, and while the results are debatable, the numbers don't lie - Augusta Christian has reason to celebrate.
The Lions had the best in-county record in two of the "big three" high school sports (football and boys basketball), and the AC baseball team notched a region title.
Despite having the fewest number of varsity teams among Columbia County's high schools, Augusta Christian led the way in point production, which may come as a surprise to some local observers.
Evans' Taylar Stallings, one of the top competitors in the state, prepares to put the shot at a local meet.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The prep sports spotlight is usually on football, basketball and baseball, but track-and-field is what boosted Augusta Christian past Greenbrier High School in the county standings.
Some of AC's best all-around athletes compete in track, and although they labored in relative obscurity, they reaped the most rewards in competition this spring.
Twin sisters Sarah and Rebekah Madebach combined to win three Georgia Independent School Association Class AAAA titles in track, and Sarah also won the GISA cross-country championship.
As a member of the Lions track team, Cole Rabun ran his way to 30 points, which equaled the Madebach's as the top point-getters in the county.
Evans High School's Taylar Stallings won the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA discus title, and Tesha Thurmond matched that feat by taking the discus crown in Class AAAA. Thurmond totaled 25 points, and Stallings posted 20 to rank fifth among Columbia County athletes.
County athletes also fared well in cross country, wrestling, golf and tennis, but individual point-potential is limited in those team-oriented sports.
That's not the case in track and field. Region and state titles are up for grabs in numerous events, which helps explain why Augusta Christian piled up 125 points in that sport.
Of course, nobody gave AC 11 individual region track-and-field titles, the boys and girls team titles, plus three more state individual championships.
Augusta Christian athletes achieved success the old fashioned way - they earned it.
Augusta Christian track and field (boys and girls) - 125 points
Augusta Prep cross country (boys and girls) - 65 points
Augusta Christian tennis (boys and girls) - 60 points
Lakeside wrestling - 60 points
Augusta Prep golf - 60 points
Greenbrier cross country (girls and boys) - 55 points
Lakeside tennis (boys and girls) - 50 points
Augusta Christian cross country (girls and boys) - 40 points
Augusta Prep tennis (girls and boys) - 40 points
Greenbrier soccer (girls and boys) - 40 points
Greenbrier track-and-field (girls and boys) - 40 points
Augusta Christian - Rebekah Madebach, 30 points (Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA titles in 800-meter and 3,200-meter; region titles in the 800 and 3,200).
Augusta Christian - Sarah Madebach, 30 points (Georgia Independent School Association Class AAA cross country champion; Class AAA 1,600-meter champion; state runner-up in 3,200; region title in 1,600).
Augusta Christian - Cole Rabun, 30 points (region titles in the 100- and 200-meter dash and long jump; GISA state runner up in the 200; part of 400-meter relay state champions).
Evans High School - Taylar Stallings, 25 points (Region 7-AAAAA titles in shot and discus, Class AAAAA state title in discus, state runner-up in shot).
Greenbrier High School - Tesha Thurmond, 20 points (Region 3-AAAA titles in shot and discus, Class AAA state title in discus).
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