According to the Georgia Athletic Director's Association Director's Cup final standings, Greenbrier High had the best public school athletic program in Columbia County during the 2003-2004 school year.
The Greenbrier girls softball team was one of the teams that finished in the final four to help win the AAAA Region 3 Directors Cup Points Championship. Pictured here are softball
players Amanda Glover (from left), Brittany Leverett and Kristi Nichols.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Greenbrier received top four finishes in baseball, girls track and softball and won the AAAA Region 3 Director's Cup Points Championship.
A strong finish in spring sports helped propel the Wolfpack to the points title.
The school sent seven of nine possible teams to the state playoffs. Only the boys and girls golf teams stayed home.
The girls track team might have been the highlight of the spring.
Not only did the team finish third in the overall standings, but the 400 meter relay team of Alisha Simmons, April Bennett, Melissa Butler and Renee Jones won the state title. Simmons also finished third in the long jump and Jones placed fifth in the 400 meter dash and the long jump. Tesha Thurmond took second in the discus and third in the shot put.
"While (the 400 meter relay) was a big point-getter for us, coming in third in the state was a team effort," Smallwood told The News-Times after the meet. "It was all of the girls that scored points together that helped us place there."
Coach Ed Williams led his team to the State Semifinal but ran into eventual champion and nationally ranked Columbus High. Williams' team was led by seven senior starters and will need a great effort next season to replicate the feat.
The fast-pitch softball team was the school's other sport that finished in the final four in the state. The Wolfpack should contend for the state title next season as coach Garrett Black returns six key players, including strikeout master Kristan Glover. The rising senior won an astounding 30 games last season and has more than 700 strikeouts in her career.
In addition to those teams, Greenbrier won region titles in girls and boys cross country, boys track, girls tennis and volleyball.
The girls soccer team made it to the state quarterfinals before losing to St. Pius X on penalty kicks. Coach Alex Heider loses Nicki Gray, the school's co-record holder for career goals, to Tennessee Tech. However, returning are a pair of The Augusta Chronicle All-Area First Team members. Rising juniors Sarah Daniel and Stephanie Fransoso, who scored 27 goals last season, return to anchor a powerful team.
Athletic Director and head football coach Mickey Derrick also revived the Greenbrier football team in 2003.
After failing to make the playoffs since the 1998 season, Derrick led the team to a playoff appearance against perennial power Shaw. The Wolfpack lost to Shaw, but the team hopes to build on last season's success that included lineman Rashad Dunn signing a scholarship to play in the Big Ten with Iowa.
The boys soccer and boys tennis teams also made state playoff appearances, and the boys and girls basketball teams swept the Columbia County Christmas Tournament.
The Wolfpack finished fourth in the state in weightlifting, a sport not sanctioned by the Georgia High School Association. Wesley Merriweather won the state title in the 141-150 pound class and was named the state's overall champion.
Staff Writer Donnie Fetter contributed to this report.
GREENBRIER ATHLETES WITH ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS
Rachel Cordier: Volleyball, Cottey College
Rashad Dunn: Football, Iowa
Nicki Gray: Soccer, Tennessee Tech
Ashlee LaFontaine: Softball, Erskine College
Renee Jones: Track, Georgia
Michael Newman: Baseball, Georgia College & State
Sam Pitts: Football (Augusta Christian transfer), Furman
Brooks Robinson: Football, Western Carolina
Matthew Todd: Basketball, Aiken Tech
Scott Wandless: Baseball, USC-Aiken
Jennifer Wells: Volleyball, West Georgia
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