Donnie Burch knows Lakeside High School's academic reputation might always trump its athletic programs.
No problem there.
But the longtime Panthers coach, who will take over as the school's athletic director effective July 1, is inheriting a program that quietly was among the top athletic programs in Class AAAA for the 2008-2009 school year.
The Panthers' teams, both boys and girls, combined to finish third overall in the Georgia Athletic Directors Association Dodge Directors Cup.
The cup awards points for how each team finishes on the state level. Lakeside was topped only by first-place Marist and Starr's Mill.
"I guess people wouldn't probably come in here and think about that or notice that," Burch said. "But that's a very fair, impartial system."
Evans High finished fifth overall in the Directors Cup in Class AAAA. Greenbrier High was 10th in Class AAAAA.
The Panthers were buoyed by the boys swim team's third-place finish at state, both tennis teams reaching the state semifinals, a fifth-place finish from girls cross country and quarterfinal appearances by both soccer teams, the baseball team and boys cross country.
"There's not a region title for every sport here, but as far as advancing through region and state, we did pretty good," Burch said.
Burch was named AD after interviewing with Lakeside principal Jeff Carney and assistant principal Tim Reeve.
Burch becomes the fourth athletic director Lakeside has had in the past 18 months. He takes over for Jon Johnson, who served as AD the past school year.
On Burch's agenda will be maintaining the facilities, some of which are as old as the school, which opened in 1988, and bolstering the program's fundraising efforts.
He said no major building projects are in the works, but there will be repairs to correct problems with facilities.
"You just want to take pride in your facilities," Burch said. "You want to make sure they're maintained, they're clean, things that are broken get fixed. Just little things."
He also said the Panthers' coaching staffs would remain relatively unchanged.
The softball team, which has had a number of coaches the past few years, will be coached by Christina Steflik. Burch said volleyball coach Danielle Gonzalez has taken another job.
Davis in senior tournament
Former Greenbrier baseball standout TD Davis was selected to play in the "Top 96" Senior All-Star Tournament in May.
Davis, whose playing schedule was limited due to graduation, played two games for the North team. He went 1-for-2 with a walk against Atlanta East, and scored his team's lone run.
Against Southwest Georgia, Davis was 1-for-3, with a two-run home run and two runs scored.
Davis will play at Georgia Perimeter College.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.