When the Lakeside High School Class of 2000 voted for the senior superlatives, its members knew what they were doing.
Charles Kelley won the Best All Around Award, and David Haywood was voted Most Talented by his classmates.
The Lakeside alumni returned to their old stomping grounds Monday -- their first visit back since they graduated -- as part of the country music trio Lady Antebellum. They went back to Lakeside to give a surprise performance for the student body, the day after performing as part of the Music Evolution Series at the Columbia County Amphitheater in Evans.
The up-and-coming Nashville, Tenn.-based band has signed with Capitol Records and has released a new CD.
Before they took the stage in the Lakeside gym, Kelley, Haywood and Hillary Scott, the third member of the group, sat in a conference room and browsed through a 2000 yearbook.
"There are a lot of good memories here," Kelley said. "I enjoyed high school."
Kelley said he played in bands when he was in high school, but he was not active in the school's music programs. He said he concentrated on academics and was a member of the golf team, which won a state championship.
Kelley said he led a pep rally once, reliving the event by re-enacting Will Smith's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air jump, which he did across the stage.
Haywood said returning to Lakeside brought back memories of his senior project.
"Our senior year we made a video for the Class of 2000, and then we sold them illegally in the lunchroom," he said.
He saw many former classmates at the trio's performance Sunday.
"I can't wait to see baby pictures of y'all," Scott said, looking over the Lakeside graduates' shoulders at the yearbook. "That's what I'm most excited about."
The students were excited to hear the band. They rose to their feet and erupted in applause when the performers took the stage.
They clapped to the music, and some of them even came out of the bleachers to dance.
Senior Tom Mudrak, 18, said he was not familiar with the band, but he and his friend Chris Neal, also 18, agreed that it was "pretty cool" to see successful Lakeside graduates come back to the school.
Junior Joshua Montgomery, 16, said rumors had been circulating that singer/songwriter Josh Kelley, Charles' brother, was going to perform.
Joshua, a member of the Lakeside band's drumline, which opened for the trio, was not disappointed that it was Lady Antebellum who performed instead.
"I thought it was awesome," he said. "I'm so glad they came."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.