A new word crept into the vocabulary of Augusta Christian athletics during the 2006-07 sports year: dynasty.
For the third-straight season, the Lions baseball team claimed a South Carolina Independent Schools Association Class AAA state championship.
Coach Craig Johnson lost 11 seniors from last year's squad but led his new crop of Lions to a 22-8 season.
After losing one of three games in the first round of the Class AAA SCISA state tournament, the team swept through the remaining state playoffs to claim the school's fifth baseball state championship.
Senior Josh Whitaker led the team in 11 different offensive categories through the season and ended the year with a .473 batting average, 10 home runs and 57 RBI.
Last fall, he signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Kennesaw State.
Whitaker's signing wasn't the only highlight of the fall season.
The Augusta Christian football team, coming off a state title in 2005, returned to the state championship game before losing to Hammond 28-17.
Senior Bo Inglett became one of only two Columbia County football players to earn a spot on a roster at the next level when he signed to play with Shorter College.
As the fall turned to winter, the Lions basketball teams came alive.
Junior Tyler Bourdo and senior Casey Brush earned tournament MVP honors at a boys and girls Christmas Tournament at Thomas Sumter Academy.
Junior Fred Auston led the Lions with a 55.9 percent shooting average from the field, while senior Lynlee Satcher, who signed with USC Aiken in November, helped the Lady Lions reach the state playoffs.
Brush and Satcher continued their athletic success into the spring sports season when they led the girls track team to a second consecutive SCISA Class AAA state championship. The boys team took second place overall.
History was made at the Martinez private school when the new Lions and Lady Lions soccer teams took the field for the first time in spring competition.
Augusta Christian's boys won their season opener 1-0 to kick off the new program.
That left the baseball team to round out the year with a state title three-peat at Ben Lippen in May.
And with a new multi-purpose field house currently under construction overlooking Pride Valley, the Augusta Christian athletic program is experiencing continued growth.
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