Another season of high school lacrosse in Columbia County is under way, and Lakeside proved Friday it had the edge among the area's only two programs.
Playing at Panther Stadium on Friday the 13th, the Panthers girls squad beat Greenbrier, 13-2, while Lakeside's boys rolled to a 13-1 win during the rivals' season-opening scrimmage.
Tom Bentley scored four goals for the Panthers boys and teammate Zach Long added three. John Carter, Chris Tynan, Nick Leaf, Jamie Burg, Evans Carter and Matt Stroud scored a goal each for Lakeside.
Long, Tynan and Leaf dished out two assists apiece for the Panthers in the victory.
Lakeside girls coach Curt Gary said his team had only been practicing two weeks, but that he was pleased with what he saw to this point.
"They looked really good for two weeks of practice," Gary said.
Gary played lacrosse for the University of Virginia before he was drafted into military service. Back then, the sport was almost exclusive to northern schools and the Ivy League. But when plastic sticks began being produced in bulk and proved much cheaper than their wooden predecessors, the sport became more accessible and moved down the East Coast.
Atlanta became the hub of lacrosse in Georgia and led the push for the sport to be sanctioned by the Georgia High School Association. Georgia sanctioned the sport at a high-school level before its neighboring states.
Some of the state's best competition is in Atlanta and Gary, whose team has St. Pius X at home on the schedule this Saturday, knows the wins won't come as easy the rest of the way.
"They're going to see our four- and five-goal scorers and immediately double and triple-team them," Gary said. "We got to be able to dish the ball off to the other players."
Gary said his team has benefited from a handful of Panthers basketball players who have joined the squad. He said the defensive style of basketball is similar to the skills needed in lacrosse.
Gary also has help from another Panthers' two-sport standout, April Heard, who plays softball and returns this year as goalie for Gary's squad.
"(She) is the backbone of our team," he said.
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