Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Blazers Blog

January 31, 2013

VSU's champions honored

VALDOSTA — Jan. 30, 2013 wasn’t just a normal Wednesday afternoon in Valdosta. It was Blazer National Championship Day.

The city of Valdosta and Lowndes County honored the last three national championship teams at Valdosta State University with a parade and gathering Wednesday afternoon.

With severe weather holding off long enough, players and coaches of the 2011 men’s tennis team, 2012 women’s softball team and 2012 men’s football team were honored in the parade for their athletic accomplishments.

Following the parade down Patterson Street, the teams met with fans inside Drexel Park, where all three coaches, VSU president Dr. William J. McKinney, Valdosta mayor John Gayle and Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter all spoke.

Gayle and Slaughter also gave a joint proclamation, declaring the day Blazer National Championship Day.

McKinney started the brief speeches off by telling the story of how he and his wife, Dr. Dacia Charlesworth, sat in the Chicago airport in May, watching the Blazer softball team win the national championship.

“In seven months of being here, I could never have imagined this much fun and this kind of ride,” McKinney said. “It started before Dacia and I got here in Valdosta. In May, we were on our way back from a vacation, sitting in an airport delay in Chicago, each of us holding our smartphones...We were watching pitch-by-pitch of the Blazer softball team winning a national championship.”

McKinney then thanked all parties involved, from the city, county, coaches, players, student body and fan base. He then challenged the teams to win more championships,     saying he could hold a city- and county-wide         celebration every year.

“I could do this each and every year,” McKinney said. “Way to go Blazers.”

Following McKinney’s marks, VSU men’s tennis coach John Hansen spoke to the crowd, and eventually led it in a “Go Blazers” cheer.

“In winning a national championship, you have a feeling inside that is so exciting. I can feel it right now with this crowd right here. There is nothing better than being part of this community and letting be part of this community.”

Softball’s Thomas Macera spoke next, saying his team’s run to the school’s first-ever women’s sports national championship was unbelievable.

“We had an amazing run,” Macera said. “Tennis had to do the same thing and football did this year, too. Like Coach Hansen said, we have the greatest fans in the planet.”

Football’s David Dean spoke the longest of all three coaches. Dean told the fans that he left the recruiting road to attend the festivities.

“I was in Atlanta the last few weeks doing a lot of recruiting and I had some coaches ask me to come by Wednesday and I told them I couldn’t do that and I had to go back to Valdosta,” Dean said. “I have a parade. They all laughed at me and said, “A parade in the middle of the week?’

“I’m going to send them this video and show them this is what Titletown is all about. I’m going to show them today.”

Dean then declared the Blazers’ football championship the community’s, saying the championship is everybody’s, not just the football team’s.

“We are blessed to represent Valdosta State University and Valdosta, Ga. each and every week when we step onto the field,” Dean said. “We take that to heart and we take a lot of pride.”

1
Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albritton in first place after opening round of Elite 89 voting

    July 14, 2014

  • Justin_Roper.JPG Roper to coach Blazers’ QBs

    Valdosta State has added an assistant coach to its staff, but it isn’t to fill Seth Wallace’s role.
    Former Oregon quarterback and University of Findlay running backs coach Justin Roper has been hired as the Blazers’ quarterbacks coach.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1966690_10201768896480524_387489323_n.jpg Dominique Wheeler showing confidence as NFL rookie

    Dominique Wheeler slowly made a name for himself during his four-year career as a Valdosta State Blazer. Playing at the cornerback position, Wheeler had to wait his turn to start at the position. However by the time he ended his senior year, he had played in 45 games, including nine starts his senior season.

    July 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawrence Virgil pic Lawrence Virgil working to make the Saints final roster

    With college and the Valdosta State football team behind him, Brooks County’s own Lawrence Virgil is working hard to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

    July 6, 2014 2 Photos

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: