Lakeside High School's cup runneth over, thanks to a spring-sports feast by the Panthers.
Lakeside was the only Columbia County high school among the state's top 10 prep athletic programs in the Directors Cup standings, which were announced recently by the Georgia Athletic Directors Association.
In Class AAAA, Lakeside scored 400 points to forge a sixth-place tie with Dalton. Greenbrier earned 335 points to finish 11th in Class AAAA, while Harlem (AAA) and Evans (AAAAA) failed to make the top 15 in their classifications.
"The Directors Cup ranking shows that, overall, our program is excellent," said Randy Hill, Lakeside's athletic director and head coach in football and wrestling.
Lakeside earned points during the fall season as the Lady Panthers excelled in volleyball and softball. Hill's wrestling team picked up the pace with a strong campaign during the winter season. Lakeside's competition-cheerleading squad also advanced to the state championships.
Lakeside High School's Susanne Rogers (left) and Greenbrier High School's Melanie Cook battle for the ball near the Lakeside goal in a March 28 game. Lakeside has cracked the top 10 in the state Directors Cup
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Spring was a bonanza for Lakeside, with the baseball team, and girls and boys squads in tennis, soccer and golf all advancing to state-tournament play. Soccer was the primary point-booster, with the Panthers and Lady Panthers advancing to the Class AAAA state semifinals.
"I thought we had a great year, although we can do better in certain areas," Hill said. "Greenbrier wasn't that far behind us."
Georgia High School Association programs earned Directors Cup points in each of 23 sanctioned sports during the 2002-03 school year, with only the eight highest-scoring teams in boys and girls sports picking up points.
The Directors Cup standings were tallied from finishes in state-tournament action. A state title was worth 100 points, runner-up received 80, while a state semifinal appearance (third or fourth) picked up 60. The allotment went on down to 10 points for teams that made it into the state playoffs in their respective sports and lost in first-round play.
In the state's highest classification, Parkview claimed Directors Cup honors, but private-school programs swept the other four GHSA classifications.
Marist dominated Class AAAA; Westminster took the top spot in AAA; Greater Atlanta Christian was No. 1 in AA; and, Athens Academy was the best in Class A.
Of the five high schools that placed ahead of Lakeside in Class AAAA, only two (No. 3 South Forsyth and No. 5 Columbus) are public schools.
"It's like I heard someone say, they have the best teams money can buy," Hill said of the private-school programs, which have a reputation of recruiting top prep players. "It helps when you're able to get the best athletes to come to your school."
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