Last year, the Lakeside Panthers finished as runners-up in the AAAA golf state tournament. They had to watch as Etowah hoisted the trophy as state champs. Perhaps that experience was good for some of the young Panthers because this time around the roles were reversed.
Lakeside took center stage at the 2006 state golf championships while the heavily favored defending champs from Etowah had to look on.
Despite fielding a group of six underclassmen (one freshman, four sophomores and one junior) the Panthers shot an impressive even par 288 to earn a three-shot victory over Etowah.
Brian Carter led a balanced attack for the Panthers with a 3-under 69. Carter's efforts were good enough for individual medalist runner-up. The Lakeside trio of Charlie Cason, John Faulkner and Tom Hardy each turned in rounds of 1 over 73.
Lakeside also captured the state AAAA crown back in 1999. That group was lead by Jay Mundy, who went on to play at Auburn University and now plays on the Hooters Tour.
This youthful group of Panthers appears to have a very bright future as well. Congratulations to Lakeside coach Jay Gilstrap and the entire Lakeside program.
County athletes to be honored
Thursday was the prestigious Augusta West Rotary Club Athlete of the Year Banquet.
This was the 28th year that the club has taken a night to recognize the top male and female scholar athletes from around the area. Each high school from Columbia and Richmond counties, along with North Augusta High School, are represented by the school's top all-around student athlete.
It really is amazing to read some of the accomplishments of some of these hard-working young people. Twelve of the athletes honored this past week represented Columbia County.
Here is a look at the Columbia County honorees:
Male Nominee Female Nominee
Augusta Christian: Wayne House, Larrie Reece. Augusta Prep: Thomas Knerr, Monica Ploetzke. Evans: Scott Hartenstein, Kasey Bandy. Greenbrier: Josh Deves, Bridget Lyons. Harlem: Wesley Gower, Jamie Nevin. Lakeside: Bena Tshishiku, Stephanie Yavorsky.
In addition to each school's nominee being recognized for their accomplishments, the club had five special awards that are given out at the end of the ceremony. A male and female top athlete award is given out as well as a male and female top scholar athlete. The final award, The Billy Prince Award, is given to the top overall student-athlete (male or female) in the entire area.
Once again this year Columbia County picked up some of the major hardware. Lakeside's Bena Tshishiku was named the Top Scholar Athlete among male nominees. Tshishiku, in addition to being an outstanding basketball player, had a 4.0 GPA and finished No. 3 in a class of 353. He plans to play basketball at Washington & Lee University this fall.
The top female scholar athlete also went to a Columbia County student. Harlem's Jamie Nevin edged out a strong group of female candidates to pick up the award. Nevin, who has received a soccer scholarship from Georgia College & State University, also had a 4.0 GPA and was Harlem's valedictorian.
Congratulations to Jamie, Bena and the rest of our Columbia County nominees.
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