Who would have thought that after one week of the 2003 high-school football season that Greenbrier would be ranked ahead of defending Class AAAA state champion Thomson?
Well, the Wolfpack was ahead of the Bulldogs ... sort of.
The Pack jumped from No. 43 to 23 last week in the latest Class AAAA prep power rankings, while Thomson tumbled from No. 1 all the way to 31 following a 10-0 loss to Hart County in the season opener.
Greenbrier opened with a 26-12 win over Evans, and that victory over a Class AAAAA squad is one reason for the Pack's big move in the Georgia Varsity Sports Vent (GASV.com) poll.
But the biggest move last week was by the Lakeside Panthers. After a 38-21 win over Westside, Lakeside's first triumph since 2001, the Panthers advanced from No. 73 to the 42nd slot among 83 Class AAAA prep teams.
Lakeside's 31-spot improvement was the best in the entire state.
In all honesty, polls and rankings are meaningless, but it's still nice to see Columbia County teams get a little recognition.
Bowers in the arena
When Ryan Bowers graduated from Greenbrier in 1998, he was a solid football player, but when he finished up a stellar four-year career at Presbyterian College, Bowers was considered a great football player.
Bowers was a three-year starter and a team leader for the Blue Hose. As a senior defensive with the Division II squad, he picked off nine passes and was selected as a second-team All-American by Football Gazette.
Following the 2002 season, Bowers was invited to play in the prestigious Cactus Bowl, which featured the country's top Division II seniors.
After graduating from the Clinton, S.C., college, Bowers signed a contract with the Cincinnati Storm of the arenafootball2 League.
Bowers went on to wow the Swarm fans, as he led the team with seven receptions and topped 100 yards receiving in his first pro game May 31.
The next week, Bowers picked off his first pass during a 49-42 loss to Quad City. Then, in the third game, Bowers intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to help the Swarm knock off Green Bay 42-35.
Bowers suffered a minor injury July 19 during a 43-41 loss to Peoria, and sat out Cincinnati's final game of the season against Wichita.
For the season, Bowers played in seven games. He joined the squad midway through the season, and for a guy who hadn't played offense since his high-school days, Bowers was sharp at receiver, hauling in 18 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He added a couple more scores after snagging loose balls.
According to Cincinnati public relations director Aaron Roof, Bowers was a great addition to the team.
"When Ryan came in we desperately needed defensive backs, and he certainly filled that void for us," Roof said.
The next AF2 season kicks off in the spring, and I have a feeling Bowers will have a contract with the Swarm, unless he decides to take his talents to another arena team.
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