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Media Release: Lowndes vs Valdosta

August 18, 2017

Valdosta vs. Lowndes Rivalry Featured for 10th Consecutive Season in Great American Rivalry Series

The Winnersville Classic

Friday, August 18, 2017 Kickoff 8 p.m.

VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Great American Rivalry Series is proud to announce it will present the famed Winnersville Classic for the 10th consecutive season featuring the Valdosta Wildcats and the Lowndes Vikings on Friday, August 25 in the Series’ first game of the 2017 season.

Friday’s game will be presented by the United States Marines and will be played at Martin Stadium, home of the Lowndes Vikings. The Winnersville Classic is one of 100 showdowns highlighted in 40 different states in this year’s Series’ schedule.

The Rivalry Series features games from California to Washington and from Florida to Maine. “These are those very special games, contested every year between longtime rivals that create memories for a lifetime,” Great American Rivalry Series founder Rick Ford notes. “The winner takes home the winning trophy, but most importantly, the pride of an entire community.”

The Valdosta-Lowndes football series began in 1968, after the Lowndes County school system consolidated into one high school. Valdosta, which had a 55-year head start on its football program, dominated the early part of the series. It won the first nine games, allowing Lowndes just 26 points in those games. In 1981, the rivalry took on a new identity with the name Winnersville Classic.

The Valdosta High School Wildcats have one of the most successful high school football programs in the country with six national championships, 24 Georgia state championships between 1920 and 1998, and 41 region titles. Cross-town rival Lowndes has also built a strong program, winning five state titles since 1980. Valdosta leads the overall series 36-16 and 21-12 since 1981 when the annual match was named the Winnersville Classic. The Wildcats won the 2016 meeting 38-13, becoming the first high school program in the country to reach 900 wins.

“We are excited to partner once again with the Great American Rivalry Series to feature games like this,” said Leroy Pennington, Marketing Specialist for the United States Marines “The elite status of the Series and these games fit perfectly with the Elite Warrior ethos of the Marine Corps, and we are proud to stand alongside these outstanding young athletes.”

The winning team on the field earns year-long bragging rights with the Great American Rivalry Series Champions trophy, presented by the Marines. The game’s Most Valuable Player and the top student-athlete from each school are also recognized as part of the Series. Along with these awards, an alumnus from each school will be inducted into the 14th class of the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame.

More information is available at or through the Series’ Twitter handle @AmericanRivalry, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts. Previews and past results will be posted throughout the season with details of the team performances after the game where fans can relive the excitement through photo galleries and game recaps.


Fans can add to the intensity of the rivalry via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram using #GreatAmericanRivalry. The Rivalry can also be found on YouTube (AmericanRivalry). Fan photos posted with this hashtag may be featured on the Great American Rivalry Series website’s new Fan Photo Gallery, and promoted via other social media outlets.


In 2004, iHigh, Inc. (now known as BrainBox Intelligent Marketing) created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Nights in America.” In 14 years, the Series has featured more than 700 classic games in 42 states, recognizing more than 1,200 student athletes with scholarships while it continues to shine the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation.

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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.