I received an e-mail last week from a reader who recommended I write about the athletic achievements of some of the young ladies in the county.
At first I thought News-Times sports writer Steven Fastenau had covered the subject, so I replied that while the female athletes in the area have plenty to be proud of, the subject had gotten a lot of attention. The softball standouts were recently named and many other girl programs had received recognition, too.
Then I gave it some more thought and decided it would not hurt to look over some of the recent individual and team accomplishments for our young ladies.
Here are several girls teams who deserved a little attention.
Greenbrier Girls Softball
The Lady 'Pack wrapped up its 13th consecutive region title this fall by reigning supreme in Region 2-AAAAA. As a matter of fact, Greenbrier does not know what it feels like to not win a region crown. The school opened its doors in 1996 and the it won the region championship that year -- and every year since. I cannot imagine there are too many teams nationwide that can say that.
Not to be outdone, the Lady 'Pack volleyball team captured top honors in Region 2-AAAAA, too. They do not have a streak as long as the softball team, but that is back-to-back region crowns.
Evans Softball and Jenny Shepherd
Like Greenbrier, Evans had a sensational season in softball and were region champions. The Lady Knights ruled Region 3-AAAA thanks, in large part, to the play of junior third baseman and pitcher Jenny Shepherd.
Shepherd had one of the finest offensive seasons in Georgia history. She tied a state mark by smashing 16 homers and established the new state benchmark for RBI with 61. Oh, by the way, she also hit .563.
She was dominant on the mound. too. She fanned 181 batters and was among the state leaders in ERA at 0.87. For her efforts, Shepherd not only was The News-Times County Player of the Year, but she also was named the state's player of the year. Unfortunately for the Knights' opponents, she will be back next season.
Evans Cross Country
Although Hubbard might not be a household name for the casual sports fan in the county, she will not be soon forgotten for those who follow distance running in the area.
The talented senior just closed out a career that can only be described as brilliant. Hubbard started smashing records as a freshman and has not looked back. As a sophomore, she set a school record with a time of 19:46 in the state cross country championship meet.
This year, she managed to better that time by running a 19:34.03 en route to a fourth-place finish in the GHSA State Championships. She topped that with a time of 18:54 at the Foot Locker South Regional in Charlotte, N.C., last month. Her personal best is 18:35.9.
During the course of her stellar prep career, Hubbard has rewritten the Knights' record book. She holds the top spot in school history in the 1600 meters, 3000 meters and 5000 meters.
She might be the most underrated athlete in the entire county.
In January, I will focus on the female athletes at Lakeside and Harlem, with a feature on Augusta Christian and Augusta Prep coming in February.
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