You might have heard of Greenbrier High School's jump to Class AAAAA this year.
There is plenty of speculation on how its sports teams will fare. The earliest test will be Tuesday, when the Wolfpack softball team hits the road to play new region foe Union Grove.
The game will begin the Wolfpack's defense of 12 consecutive region titles. That's one region softball title for each year the school has been open.
If you're one to speculate, that number is a good place to start. Will the run stretch to unlucky 13? Will Region 2-AAAAA prove too tough?
The Wolfpack first won region about the time Bill Clinton was winning a second term in office. Since then, they've successfully jumped from class AAA to AAAA with no problems.
"We'll do the same thing we've been doing the last 12 years," Wolfpack coach Garrett Black said. "We'll do what we do and see how everything falls into place."
That's all there is to do at this point. If there must be a prediction, I don't think you can pick against what's happened the past 12 seasons.
Last year's super sophomores, Ashlyn Masters and Kaila Hunt, are back for their junior year. The Wolfpack will need to find replacements for pitcher Kassie Bailey, catcher Bethany Anderson and standout Sara Oland.
But Black has lost players before, and the Wolfpack seem to have dealt with adjustments fine in the past. His main concern in practice leading up to this week was getting his players to gel after they all went separate ways during a busy summer.
Some played for the Dixie Ponytails team that traveled to Louisiana for the World Series. Masters and Hunt played for the Vipers, a travel team out of Atlanta.
"It's going to take a little while to get on pace for Greenbrier," Black said. "I think we're going to be OK. It's just a matter of figuring a few things out at a couple of positions and going ahead and getting back in our mode of repetition and being together as a group."
Black singled out Union Grove and Luella as two teams likely to give the Wolfpack the most trouble. Union Grove beat out Luella for last year's 2-AAAAA title.
The Wolverines also won the region title in 2007.
They probably won't look kindly on their new region rival, but Black sounds confident he'll have his team's focus in the right place.
"There's some things we have to do to get ourselves in good position to win that 13th region title," he said. "It'd be nice to get that No. 1 seed going into the region tournament. We want to give ourselves a chance to get back down to Columbus. You get to Columbus, you got a chance to win a state title."
A state title would make two for the Wolfpack. They last captured state in 2004.
The first goal, Black said, is to win the region.
We'll know beginning Tuesday whether his team has a shot.
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