The top news in the county this week is the beginning of the 2007 baseball season. Two local teams enter the year as defending state champions and lead a county that saw five of its six high school baseball teams reach the state playoffs last season.
Then there's soccer season, which started two weeks ago. Greenbrier's boys will begin their season ranked No. 1 in the state while two girls teams (Greenbrier and Lakeside) have also cracked the state rankings. Meanwhile, Augusta Christian will kick off its first-ever soccer season with a boys scrimmage this week at Westminster.
Other sports teams such as Lakeside's boys golf and Augusta Prep's boys tennis also begin their season as defending state champs.
Track and field teams have started, and softball is a spring sport at Augusta Christian.
That makes a total of 50 high school varsity sports teams that play in the spring. That being said, I think the proper thing to do in order to make my job as easy as possible is to take this to its logical conclusion: let's add three more sports teams!
That's exactly what's happened in the past year. Lakeside, after adding boys lacrosse last year, threw in girls lacrosse this season. Greenbrier jumped on the bandwagon and added boys lacrosse.
Obviously, the Wolfpack have some catching up to do. In a preseason scrimmage last weekend, Lakeside spanked the first-year Greenbrier team 16-2.
Not only will additional teams increase the awareness and popularity of a growing sport, Lakeside no longer has to drive two or three hours to face an opponent. Because of the efforts of Greenbrier lay coach Jeff Becker and Lakeside lay coach Ron Ritter (not to mention the athletics directors who allowed the creation of two new teams), Columbia County is once again on the cutting edge of sports in the Augusta area.
As if the baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, softball and track schedules weren't enough to keep up with, mark one more date on your calendar: March 27.
Greenbrier will face Lakeside in boys lacrosse. The rivalry between these schools, whether in baseball, basketball or badminton, will no doubt produce an entertaining and competitive contest.
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