Postseason awards are rolling into Columbia County at quite a pace. The fall sports season ended in November for the schools, and Columbia County can take pride in several teams.
This fall, we've had a state champion (Augusta Prep volleyball), two state runners-up (Augusta Christian football, Augusta Prep girls cross country) and a third-place finisher (Greenbrier softball).
We also had region championships from Evans volleyball, Greenbrier softball and Augusta Prep volleyball, and subregion titles from Harlem softball and Harlem volleyball.
Now it's time for the individual awards.
Best in the state
Perhaps the most impressive honor of the fall 2006 sports season went to Greenbrier's Tiffany Blackburn, who was named Class AAAA Softball Player of the Year. Former Lady Wolfpack pitcher Kristan Glover was named the pitcher of the year in 2004, but no Greenbrier softball player previously had been named player of the year. The senior third baseman hit .446 with 48 RBI and 10 home runs. Among Blackburn's 16 school records, her .506 batting average in 2004 might never be broken.
More state recognition
Blackburn, who was also named Region 3-AAAA player of the year, didn't corner the market on softball awards. Her teammate, freshman Kaila Hunt, joined Blackburn on the Class AAAA All-State first team, and Evans junior Taylor Jones earned a spot on the Class AAAA All-State second team. Greenbrier's Ashlyn Masters and Evans' Sarah Shepherd were Class AAAA All-State honorable mention selections.
Along with Blackburn, Hunt, Masters, Shepherd and Jones, Kassie Bailey (Greenbrier), Kaitlin Hill (Lakeside) and Hillary Hall (Lakeside) were named to the All-Region 3-AAAA first team. Sara Oland (Greenbrier), Elizabeth Gaston (Greenbrier), Bethany Anderson (Greenbrier), Andria Batchelor (Lakeside), Kayle Hutchins (Lakeside), Laura Brown (Evans) and Jenny Shepherd (Evans) were named to the All-Region 3-AAAA second team.
Congratulations go out to two Augusta Christian athletes: Senior Clayton Adams was named to the SCISA All-State football team, and sophomore Jaiden Brandt was named to the SCISA All-State cross country team. They will be honored at the 2006 SCISA All-State reception on Saturday in Sumter, S.C.
What in the world was the South Carolina Independent School Association thinking? The SCISA All-State football team was announced with a few horrifying omissions.
I don't know exactly what the qualifications are to get on the SCISA All-State football team, but apparently rushing for almost 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns on a state championship runner-up team isn't enough. That's exactly what Augusta Christian senior Kyle Meeks did, but he was snubbed.
Another deserving candidate, Lions wide receiver Josh Whitaker, led the entire Aiken-Augusta area with 10 touchdown receptions. He was also not on the list. Augusta Christian, which reached the state finals for the second year in a row, placed only one of its football players on the All-State team. Heathwood Hall, which lost in the first round of the state playoffs, and Wilson Hall, which lost in the second round, each had two players on the team.
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