With the buzz of new baseball and soccer seasons beginning in Columbia County, another sport stole the spotlight for at least one night this past week.
The Lakeside lacrosse team, the first high school team of its kind in the Augusta area, took the field for their first-ever home game Tuesday night against White Knoll.
The Panthers didn't disappoint the nearly 200 fans who came to see history in the making. Lakeside won the contest over White Knoll, from Columbia, by a score of 15-3.
"You could tell at practice the kids were ready to play," Lakeside coach Ron Ritter said. "They really wanted it after last Saturday."
Last Saturday saw Lakeside take their first loss of the season on the road at Marist. The Panthers won their season opener at Wheeler High School, and Tuesday's home win gives them with a 2-1 record to start the year.
Ritter said it's a strong start for a first year program. The Lakeside boys, many of whom have less than two years of experience playing the game, have already surpassed Ritter's initial expectations.
"I first expected to go .500, but with the schedule we have and the way we're playing if we went 5-3, we'd be OK. In fact, with our schedule we could go 7-1."
The lofty goal would require an undefeated rest of the season for Lakeside. After Tuesday's 12-goal win, a 7-1 record doesn't look that impossible.
"I want to go undefeated from here out," Lakeside attackman Tim Boner said. "Next year, we'll be the best ever."
Boner started Tuesday's game off by winning the opening face-off. Before the night ended, he won 8-of-9 face-offs and had three goals. His first score came in the beginning minutes of the second quarter to give Lakeside a 3-2 lead.
The goal opened the flood gates as the Panthers scored the next 11 goals, including a total of six scores in the second quarter.
"When Tim started winning all the face-offs it helped us," Lakeside goalkeeper Mike Greer said. "That can turn around the game."
Greer, a senior captain for Lakeside, gave up a pair of goals in the first quarter, but held White Knoll scoreless in the second and third quarters and finished the night with six saves.
Lakeside's Cameron Ballard, who scored the first goal of the night for the Panthers, finished with a total of six goals and two assists.
Lakeside will next play in its final home game of the year at 10 a.m. Saturday against Starr's Mill.
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