By now, most of you have heard the news that Jody Grooms is stepping down as the head football coach at Lakeside High School to take over the program at Wayne County.
I, like many of you, would love for Grooms to stay with the Panthers, but I completely understand the move. First, the Wayne County offer gave Grooms a chance to be the school's athletic director in addition to his duties as the football coach. That, of course, means more money.
Also, it falls in line with Grooms' recent history. He came to Lakeside after turning around a struggling program in North Carolina. He turned around the program on Blue Ridge Drive as well.
The Panthers last year won the Region 3-AAAA title, a state playoff game, and boasted one of the premier defenses in the state.
Wayne County is a program in need of a face-lift, too. The team has not won a playoff game in 13 years and have posted a 4-16 record during the past two seasons.
So instead of being angry that Grooms is bolting, let's appreciate the job he did in turning the Panthers program around and wish him good luck.
The focus now is on Grooms' replacement. According to Lakeside principal Jeff Carney, the search begins immediately and he would not mind finding Grooms' successor in house.
"I would love to hire from within," Carney said. "We are still talking to the coaches to find out who is interested in the job.
"However, we will not look past a good candidate," he added.
Black will play at USC Aiken
Lakeside infielder and right-handed pitcher Ben Black has become the sixth senior from the school to earn a college scholarship. Black accepted an offer to play for Kenny Thomas' Pacers of USC Aiken.
Black joins Greenbrier's Sam Daniel as Columbia County players who will suit up for the Pacers next season.
He also will play for another Columbia County product.
Pacer assistant coach Michael Holder was a standout player at Evans in the 1990s and went on to star at Georgia Southern. He is the youngest son of legendary coach Terry Holder.
Evans enjoying a solid season
Evans High basketball coach Kevin Kenny has the Knights on track for another state playoff appearance and a possible 20-win season.
Success on the hardwood has become the norm for Kenny's teams.
The Knights are 17-6 this season, 14-5 in Region 3-AAAA, which puts them at 97-38 since the 2005-06 season.
More impressive is the Knights' success against county foes. They are an amazing 38-3 in the county since 2005, including a 7-0 mark this season.
Below is a look at Evans' recent run of success.
Year - Overall Record - Record vs. Columbia County teams
2005-06 24-6 9-0
2006-07 17-9 7-1
2007-08 19-8 8-2
2008-09 20-9 7-0
2009-10 17-6 7-0
Totals 97-38 38-3
That's an average of nearly 20 wins per season, and they still have a chance to win a few more games this year. Who says Columbia County can't sustain hoops success?
Augusta Christian girls basketball keeps rolling
Congratulations to the Augusta Christian girls basketball team.
The Lady Lions have had a terrific season so far. They stand at 18-4 overall and 9-0 in region play following a big 53-42 win over Heathwood Hall.
They were down by one point going into the fourth quarter, but Amaura Brandt and Lindsey Banks helped to key a huge final period as the Lions outscored their opponent 23-11, giving Augusta Christian an 11-point win. Banks finished with 17 points, while Brandt poured in 26.
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