The Eagles' boys program claimed its first GHSA region championship in 2006 and then went on to finish fifth in the Class A state tournament. In 2007, the boys placed third overall and in '08 they completed the season as state runners-up.
It wasn't until 2009 that the now five-year-old girls golf team fielded its first full roster of at least four golfers. Prior to that, the squad was comprised of individuals competing in tournaments. Since then, however, the Lady Eagles have elevated their game.
"I still think a lot of our success comes from four years ago with our boys," said co-coach Scott Varner. "Simply because the girls saw what happened."
The boys' teams success translated into the Lady Eagles' capturing their first region championship in 2010 and making their first state tournament appearance, where they finished 10th.
With a squad comprised of one junior, Clarice Cannon, and three sophomores in Holly Cannon, Kaitlyn Camp and McKenna Cua, Mount Paran had an even better showing at state this past season, finishing with runner-up honors after carding a 177.
"The girls saw how much our guys enjoyed (going to state), and then last year they got a taste," Varner said. "Almost shocking themselves by winning the region tournament. Then, they got the opportunity to at least feel what (state) is like. Now that they've gotten (runner-up), I can only imagine what's next."
For leading Mount Paran Christian to region and state runner-up finishes in its fifth season, Varner and Tab Griffin are the 2011 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County golf co-coaches of the year.
"It's a great honor," Griffin said. "But, it's really about the girls. These girls came everyday ready and focused to practice or play a match, and they stayed focused from tryouts all the way through to the state tournament.
"They were determined. It's a hard-working bunch. They had a goal in mind, coming out of last year where they finished top 10, to win the state tournament. They fell just a little bit short, but we were happy with second place."
Mount Paran wasn't afraid to play golf against some of the best teams in the area. The Lady Eagles' not only did battle against squads from their own tough Region 6A, they sought out matches against schools from AAAA and AAAAA.
"We set up our schedule where we competed against a ton of big schools in the area," Griffin said. "We played Pope and Harrison and we stayed competitive with that bunch. We tried to play the best of the best because we knew getting to state, that's what we were going to face."
Darlington, which also competes in Region 6A, beat Mount Paran to win the Class A state title as well as the region championship. The Lady Eagles may have come up short in their state championship bid, but the team has accomplished a lot in a few years.
"Scott and I are ultimately proud of them," Griffin said. "I know that they fell short of their expectations, but for us, they've done everything that we've asked them to do. Darlington is a very good team and we hung in with them at the region tournament and at the state tournament. We're definitely proud with what (the girls) did and how they competed."
Varner echoed Griffin's statement.
"While it was disappointing, ultimately, they realize that there was only one single A school in front of them and (Mount Paran) got to hold up a cup as state runner-up," Varner said. "Only two teams in the state get to do that, so I think for them, they started to understand it and appreciate it and I think it gives them that taste to get there again."