If we could have just one more high school baseball game this season, wouldn't it be great to have the Greenbrier Wolfpack play the Augusta Christian Lions?
Not that it will happen, but the significance of such a game goes beyond bragging rights for two teams recently crowned state champions in their baseball divisions.
That's because these two Columbia County schools, one public, one private, are champions in two different states. This means Columbia County is king of baseball in both Georgia and South Carolina!
The two teams are linked by more than just proximity. Nolan Belcher, Greenbrier's sophomore pitching ace, left private Augusta Christian after the team won the South Carolina Independent Schools Association state title in 2005, transferring to public Greenbrier where he led the team to its first Georgia High School Association AAAA state title since 1999.
Even without Belcher, though, the Lions never skipped a beat. Switching just more than a year ago to the South Carolina association helped the teams cut down on longer travel times from their previous Georgia affiliation, but it's also helped put Augusta Christian on top: Subsequent state titles in baseball (twice in a row), in football and in girls track prove the point.
With Belcher added to the already strong Greenbrier roster, the Wolfpack entered the baseball season as the top-ranked team in Georgia - and stayed on top until the end, losing just one game the entire season.
After such great seasons, the inside-Columbia County border bash may not be possible. But what is possible is for supporters of both teams to help the winning boys pay for rings to celebrate their championship season.
The News-Times has partnered with Bojangles to hold a "card-signing" event for Greenbrier from 4-7 p.m.Thursday at the restaurant's location at Washington Road and William Few Parkway, and with Putt-Putt for another signing for Augusta Christian from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Putt-Putt on Martinez Industrial Boulevard.
Visitors who make a donation for the team rings will be able to sign a giant "card" congratulating the teams; The News-Times will then print the congratulatory messages in upcoming issues.
We may not get that final, Georgia vs. South Carolina high school game, but we can join to congratulate and support the two teams who brought both state championships home to Columbia County!
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