Each week during the summer, The Columbia County News-Times will highlight a different high school with a look back at its five biggest stories from the previous school year.
This week's focus is on Greenbrier High.
The story for all Wolfpack programs was how they would fare after the bump up to Class AAAAA. The move had little effect on Greenbrier's success.
Greenbrier teams won region titles in softball, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis and boys and girls golf. The region title was the softball team's 13th in a row, and the boys soccer team earned its crown with an undefeated regular season.
The Wolfpack football team ended its season in spectacular fashion, coming from behind to beat Redan 59-57.
Greenbrier trailed 31-7 at the half and 38-7 shortly after halftime.
The comeback began on the next series and ended with Tyler Griffin's 30-yard field goal on the final play of the game.
In between, the Wolfpack recovered three onside kicks, successfully pulled off a fake-spike play and watched Redan extend the game with a roughing-the-kicker penalty in the final seconds.
"There was something in the air, blowing through the trees ... it was magical," first-year coach Brian Smith told The Augusta Chronicle .
Wolfpack quarterback Ben Turner was credited with 277 yards passing and 283 rushing during the win. Receiver T.D. Davis set a single-game school receptions record with 13 catches for 119 yards.
"It was pretty much the best game I ever played in,' Turner said.
The win was Greenbrier's first in Region 2-AAAAA.
"(The win) says a lot about the character of our guys," Smith said. "We've played with heart all year, and our message was to just keep playing, keep playing."
Here is a look back at five of the biggest stories from the Wolfpack's year.
Marshall remembered as 'the total package'
April 29, 2009
Patrick Marshall knows his son will be remembered by many people for his basketball.
But he wants them to know what Eric Marshall planned to do with his gift.
Eric, a former Greenbrier High School standout who played basketball at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., died April 22 after collapsing during a pickup basketball game. An autopsy indicated his death was caused by an enlarged heart.
He was a housing program coordinator with Richmond County Housing and Community Development and was to be Greenbrier's assistant basketball coach next year.
But Eric's bigger ambition was Reach for Him, a nonprofit organization with the goal of ministering to Augusta's youth through summer basketball camps, one-on-one mentoring and a scholarship program.
"I don't want that to go away," said Tanya Marshall, Eric's widow.
She plans to continue what Eric started. The Eric Marshall Memorial Fund, which can be contributed to at any Wachovia bank location in the country, will be used to start a scholarship program.
Wolfpack's 13th region crown in a row one of area's numerous championships
Oct. 19, 2008
Greenbrier High School's softball team wrapped up its 13th consecutive region title on Oct. 10, fighting out of the losers' bracket to beat Luella High School twice. The title came in the Wolfpack's first season as a Class AAAAA school.
The Wolfpack softball team's try for 13 was an inning from falling flat. Greenbrier lost to Luella on the opening day of the double-elimination format. The Wolfpack beat Luella 1-0 two days later on a seventh-inning single, and they were down 4-0 headed into the final inning of the deciding game.
"It was pretty interesting," Greenbrier coach Garrett Black said.
The Wolfpack scored five runs in the top of the seventh, and produced three key defensive plays in the bottom of the inning, including throwing out a Luella runner at home.
Black's team advanced to the Class AAAAA state sectionals, which were held Saturday, as the No. 1 seed from Region 2.
"I look back on all 13 (region titles) that we've won, and that definitely is right up there with any of them," Black said.
Panthers, Wolfpack fall in state title matches
May 9, 2009
In Class AAAAA, Greenbrier's girls team lost 3-0 to Centennial in the state championship.
The loss was the first of the season for Greenbrier, which finished 16-1.
Greenbrier's top two singles players, Blair LaSure and Katie Krupp, lost their matches to Centennial's Alison Blaire and Megan Kurey, two of the top players in the state. The score was 6-0, 6-4 in both matches.
First-year coach Brittany Jackson said she was impressed by the Wolfpack's performance against the top competition.
"Their two top girls are really good, ranked really high in the state. The score doesn't reflect how they (LaSure and Krupp) played," Jackson said.
The Wolfpack, who reached the title match with seven freshmen on their roster, hope to build on their playoff run.
"We have a really young team," Jackson said. "We felt like we were the underdog, but we played awesome against this team. So it wasn't a sad time for us. We were really excited about what we accomplished."
Area schools contribute to signing day
Feb. 8, 2009
Dylan Turner's athletic future was never really up for debate.
The Greenbrier High School defensive lineman, who signed with Air Force at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on National Signing Day, inherited all the tools to play college football.
His father, Randy, played strong safety for East Carolina University. His uncle, Rocky Turner, played two years for the New York Jets as a defensive back and wide receiver. And cousin Hart Turner played tight end for the University of South Carolina.
"It's kind of a family tradition to play football," Randy Turner said.
Dylan Turner recorded 103 tackles and seven sacks during his senior season with the Wolfpack, earning him an all-region nod.
Turner also was a track and field standout. He won the 2008 Region 3-AAAA title in the shot put.
He had several options to play football in the fall, but said Air Force proved the best fit.
"When I went there, I knew it was for me," Turner said. "All the coaches made me feel like family."
'Pack stop Irish run
April 15, 2009
It took 45 seconds of the second half of a boys soccer game for Greenbrier to land in that old, familiar place.
The Wolfpack dinked a series of quick passes down the field, which eventually led to the easiest of their four goals Tuesday night, a quick finish from Zac Tihey that broke open what promised to be a competitive game against Aquinas.
In a regular-season overflowing with blowouts - Greenbrier won its first 14 games by an average of more than five goals - the Wolfpack added one more Tuesday night, 4-2 over previously unbeaten Aquinas in the regular-season finale for both teams. Greenbrier (15-0) led by at least three goals for almost all of the second half and will open the state playoffs at home a week from today.
Daniel Leonard scored the game's first goal for Aquinas, but the Wolfpack responded with four unanswered goals in a meeting of star-ranked, playoff-bound teams that hadn't practiced or played in more than 10 days because of spring break and unrelenting rainstorms.
In that span, Greenbrier had earned the first Class AAAAA state ranking in school history and is up to No. 7 this week, which had coach Chip Warren chuckling after the game.
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