Region play began last week for most Columbia County high school soccer teams. Several squads entered the all-important stretch in midseason form.
None was better than the Greenbrier boys team. The Wolfpack is ranked No. 1 in the state and entered Region 2-AAAA play with a 5-0 record.
Coach Chip Warren said the No. 1 ranking is the first in the school's history.
"It puts a bull's-eye on your chest. Everybody wants to knock off the top dog," Warren said. "At Statesboro, you could tell they were gunning for us."
The top ranking held true on Saturday as the Wolfpack beat Statesboro 2-1 for their first region win of the year. Greenbrier sophomore Pieter James gave the Wolfpack the lead with a goal in the first 10 minutes.
After Statesboro tied the game at 1-1, Greenbrier's Brooks Duff netted a goal with less than four minutes to play for the 2-1 victory.
"We just pounded it down there," Warren said.
"The second goal deflected off one of their defenders."
Greenbrier's girls, ranked No. 7 in the state, picked up a 5-0 win at Statesboro for their second region win of the season.
At Harlem, region play brought a turn for the better for the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs.
The Harlem girls picked up an easy 10-0 region win over Jefferson County Friday night, while the boys earned a 10-1 victory.
Harlem's Anthony Henry, A.J. Thibodeau and Kenny Anderson scored two goals each to improve their Region 3-AAA record to 2-0 on the year.
"They played real well tonight. It seemed like it all came together," Harlem boys soccer coach Evans John said. "In games like these, it's good to try some new things."
Also beginning region action, Evans entered last week ranked No. 4 in the state.
However, the Knights dropped three straight through the week, including a region loss at Wayne County. The Lady Knights also fell short at Wayne County in a 5-4 overtime loss.
Lakeside's boys dropped their third and fourth straight games last week, including a 2-1 region loss at Baldwin.
On the girls side, eight Lady Panthers scored last Thursday to give the Lakeside girls an 11-0 victory over Baldwin and a perfect 2-0 region record to start the season.
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