Lakeside's Jamie Lake (No. 14) is
congratulated by her soccer teammates after scoring in the first few minutes of the second half in the region championship game. The girls soccer team that made it all the way to the state
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The theme for Lakeside High's 2003-2004 athletic season could be best described as success.
Some success was apparent in the team's standings, like the girls soccer team that made it all the way to state championship.
Some was not.
The football team was successful in 2003, but that might not have been evident looking at the school's 4-6 record. However, the Panthers were winless in 2002, so a four-win improvement proved very successful.
The school's most visible success was the aforementioned girl's soccer team.
The senior-laden team marched through the Class AAAA state playoffs bracket in May. Lakeside hosted the state championship, but the Lady Panthers fell to Marist, 3-2.
"We had an amazing season," said head coach Donny Rogers about his team's 16-5-2 campaign. "Without a doubt, this was the greatest team in Lakeside soccer history."
The team was led by Rebecca Bolar, Carty Dunn and Jamie Lake but featured 12 seniors in all.
"We've got one great senior group," Rogers said recently. "We've got 12 seniors here that have really turned around this whole soccer program. We are at an elite status right now. Those seniors have worked their butts off for Lakeside soccer and are responsible for almost all of that."
Rogers said many of his seniors had the opportunity to play college soccer but just wanted to concentrate on academics. One senior, Boler, did decide to sign a scholarship with Samford University in Birmingham.
Lakeside's Philip Sadler catches a short pass and sprints past the Wolfpack for a touchdown in the first half of a September game. The football team was successful in 2003, but that might not have been evident looking at the school's 4-6 record. However, the Panthers were winless in 2002.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"This has made my whole high school experience," Bohler said following the state championship game. "These girls are my very best friends. One more goal might have made us state champions, but this has been a pretty perfect season with this team."
Months before the soccer team finished second in the state, the football squad was making miracles of its own.
The Panthers came off a horrible season in which they couldn't win a game and translated it into a three-game winning streak to start the season last fall with wins over rivals Greenbrier and Evans. The team was led by a backfield of Jimmy Johnson, Philip Sadler, Tosin Fawibe and Carl Burrow.
Nearly all other Lakeside teams continued the trend of success in 2003-2004.
The boys soccer team boasted a similarly impressive run, going to the state quarterfinals before falling to top-ranked Dalton, 3-2. The team featured four players (Ben Meeks, Lee Vick, Stephen Martin, Stephen Newman) that will play collegiate soccer. With only seven seniors, coach Dave Morgan should boast one of the state's top teams again next season.
The boy's basketball team improved by 10 wins over the last two seasons and will lose one of the area's great players. Matt Scott signed with Georgia Southern after becoming the only player in Columbia County history to eclipse the 2,000 point barrier. He capped off his career by winning the MVP of the CSRA All Star Game.
The Lakeside softball team got off to its best start in school history and made it to the state quarterfinals. The big payoff might come in 2004, when the Lady Panthers return most of their key players and should compete for the state title.
The boy's tennis team also made it to the state quarterfinals before losing to Woodward Academy.
The boy's golf team came within nine strokes of winning a state championship in 2004. They led after nine holes but ultimately fell nine shots behind Dalton at the Jekyll Island tournament.
The baseball, girl's tennis, volleyball and swim/dive teams all participated in the state playoffs last year.
The Panthers received great efforts this season from a number of individual athletes.
Wrestler Tim Mitchem finished third in the 125-pound class. Coach Randy Hill said he has the potential to win the state title in his class and sign a Division I scholarship next season.
Senior Sam Jasinski, a four-year letterman in wrestling and a linebacker in football, was awarded the Billy Price Award, which is given by the Augusta West Rotary Club to the CSRA's best athlete. Jasinski carried a 4.0 grade point average and had a 1440 on the SAT. He will attend MIT to major in aeronautical engineering.
Lakeside Athletes who signed athletic scholarships in 2003-2004
Rebecca Bolar: Soccer-Samford
Stephen Martin: Soccer-USC-Aiken
Stephen Newman: Soccer-South Carolina
Ben Meeks: Soccer-Mars Hill
Lee Vick: Soccer-South Georgia
Matt Scott: Basketball-Georgia Southern
Dustin Tyra: Baseball-Georgia Southwestern State
Alex Bragg: Football-Charleston Southern
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