High school soccer ended weeks ago, but a number of county players represented the Augusta Arsenal's under-19 team in the United States Youth Soccer Region 3 Director's Cup in North Little Rock, Ark.
Augusta qualified for the tournament for the first time ever by winning the Athena under-19 C Division in fall 2004. Every team that made the trip to Arkansas is a state champion.
The girls team finished third in the tournament, with its only loss coming in the semifinals to the South Texas Wildfire, which won the title.
Evans High's Allie Young scored against the Wildfire - the only goal the champions surrendered during the tournament.
Augusta tied Harpeth F.C. (Nashville, Tenn.) in its first game and beat Vicksburg Soccer Club, 2-0, in Game 2. Becky Marshall, of Greenbrier, scored on a cross from Augusta Prep's Callie Sadler for the first goal against Vicksburg. Lakeside's Caitlin Clark also received an assist on the goal.
It's good to see some of the county's players succeeding on a statewide and regional level.
Softball player honored
Ashlee LaFontaine graduated from Greenbrier a year early, missing out on the Wolfpack's recent state championship.
But the former All-State catcher has turned heads at Erskine College in Due West, S.C.
LaFontaine was named the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in softball.
She was also named to the All-CVAC softball first team - the only member of the Flying Fleet squad named to the first team.
LaFontaine hit .368 with four home runs and started every game as a freshman.
Athletes move on
Often high school athletes are recognized for their achievements on the field or the court.
Rarely do academics receive the attention that the athletic feats receive.
Lakeside swimmer Amanda Rowland qualified for the state swim meet as a senior and competed in various events at the state level.
Rowland's most noteworthy achievements have nothing to do with swimming.
The Lakeside graduate was recently accepted to Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Congratulations to Rowland and the other athletes such as Shivani Gupta (Evans tennis, to Tulane), Kevin Skenes (Lakeside swimming, to Georgia Tech), Kristi Nichols (Greenbrier softball, to Georgia Tech) and J.R. Barrett (Lakeside swimming, to Johns Hopkins) for realizing there is more to life than sports. They have set examples that every student athlete should follow.
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