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Media Release: Valdosta Vs. Lowndes

August 16, 2016

Valdosta Vs. Lowndes in Week one of the 13th annual Great American Rivalry Series

The “Winnersville Classic”

Valdosta, GA: Aug. 19, 2016 – The Great American Rivalry Series is proud to announce that it will feature the famed “Winnersville Classic” rivalry game between the Valdosta Wildcats and the Lowndes Vikings on Friday, Aug 19th in the Series’ first weekend of games for 2016. This game will be presented by the United States Marines and will be played at Valdosta’s Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. This game will be 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. Great American Rivalry Series founder Rick Ford notes, “These are those very special games, contested every year between longtime rivals that create memories for a lifetime. 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 35-16 and 20-12 since 1981 when the annual match was named the Winnersville Classic.  The Wildcats won 17-7 in their 2015 meeting.

“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 13th class of the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame

You can find more information 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’s performance 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 13 years, the Series has featured more than 600 classic games in 42 states, recognizing 1,153 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.