The Valdosta Wildcats will host the Lowndes Vikings in the 51st installment of the “Winnersville Classic” on Friday night at Valdosta’s Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Valdosta edged out Lowndes last year for a 21-17 victory to snap a 7 game losing streak to the Vikings. Valdosta currently leads the all-time series 34-16. These 2 schools have combined to win 29 state championships and 51 region championships.
The Valdosta Wildcats are no stranger to winning. The Wildcats football program is the winningest program in the country with 869 wins entering the 2012 season. The Wildcats have won a staggering 24 state championships, 40 region championships and have captured the mythical national championship 6 times. In 2011, the Wildcats finished with a 7-3 record and a region championship on their way to an appearance in the 1st round of the GHSA Class 5A playoffs. The 2012 Wildcats return 8 players on offense and just 3 on defense. The offense will be led by senior Shelby Wilkes who is back under center at quarterback. The backfield will feature 2 running backs in juniors Malcolm Joseph and Nelson Herring. Seniors Yardley Payne and Sherrod Inman form an athletic receiving corps while fellow senior Taijuan Smith will line up as tight end. The Wildcats are off to a 3-2 start going into Friday night’s game.
The Lowndes Vikings posted an 8-4 record in 2011 on their way to the second round of the 5A playoffs before losing to Grayson. The 2012 edition of the Vikings will bring back 5 starters on each side of the ball. Senior Alex Stevenson and junior Seth Carlo with both compete for snaps at quarterback throughout the season. The Vikings will run the ball and run the ball a lot. Senior Nick Burgman will lead the running attack, but don’t expect to just see him in the backfield. Senior Jordan Williams, sophomore Ahmad Brown and seniors Tiquan Lang and Tevin Brown have all scored on the ground for the Vikings. On defense, junior Tre Jackson returns to lead the linebacker group. Junior Eric Hart will sure up the secondary while senior DeAngelo Edmonds will stuff up the middle at nose guard. The Vikings will put a perfect 6-0 season on the line when they try to avenge last season’s loss to the Wildcats on Friday night.
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