Even though one night of regular season soccer has yet to be played, things couldn't have turned out any better for Columbia County's girls soccer teams.
The final Region 3B-AAAA games will be played Tuesday, but they'll have no real effect on the subregion standings. Greenbrier has already clinched the regular season title. Lakeside has a firm grip on second place, and Evans has sealed its spot at third place. The rest of the subregion falls in behind.
Similar results fell into place last season in the final region standings when Lakeside took first, Greenbrier second and Evans tied for third. All three teams went on to win a state playoff game.
So why all the success? No doubt, the area's club teams have something to do with it. Both the Augusta Arsenal and Columbia County Patriots soccer clubs spit out talented high school athletes in rapid succession each year.
There's another source to all this winning - especially at Greenbrier and Lakeside where the two schools have spent at least a portion of the year ranked in the Class AAAA top 10.
That source is Riverside Middle School.
The school of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders feeds both Greenbrier and Lakeside and is home to some of the top young soccer talent in the county. Anyone wishing to contest that statement can check their record.
In the past three years, the Riverside Lady Eagle soccer team hasn't lost a single game. The team finished the 2006 season at 6-0-1, further solidifying their middle school dominance over the rest of the county.
The constant winning has done more than produce an impressive middle school stat. It's also prepared countless girls for varsity soccer.
Greenbrier lost 11 seniors from last season's squad. Lakeside lost nine seniors. Still, the next generation of female soccer stars was ready when the season began.
Not all the new Lakeside and Greenbrier stars are from Riverside Middle, but the former Lady Eagles are certainly leading the way.
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