VALDOSTA — On Saturday, the defending GISA Class AA Champion Valwood Valiants look to capture their second consecutive state title as they take the field for a rematch against Memorial Day Academy (Savannah, Ga.).
“Our kids have talked about playing Memorial Day again since the first game ended,” Head Coach Ashley Henderson said. “That really gets our guys going knowing how stiff this competition is.”
The Region 3-AA Champion Valiants (12-0, 5-0 in region play) look to cap off back-to-back undefeated seasons and their fifth state title in school history.
The Region 2-AA Champion Matadors (11-1, 4-0 in region play) will be looking to not only capture the 2013 crown, but also to avenge their sole loss of the season at the hands of Valwood on Sept. 13.
Valwood reached the championship game by defeating Trinity Christian High School (Dublin, Ga.) 35-0 in their first shutout of the season.
“To play in another state championship is special,” Henderson said. “But I’m more excited about just how much we’ve improved as a whole since our last meeting with Memorial Day. Plus, this is the last game as a Valiant for our seniors. This is for them.”
Valwood’s seniors have proven to be priceless assets to the Valiants undefeated season.
“(Char Merine and Reggie Robinson) are two major pieces of our defensive unit,” Defensive Coordinator Brad Alligood said. “Char is a very vocal leader and Reggie speaks with his actions. Together they are a perfect fit.”
In their last matchup, impressive nights from Merine, Robinson, and senior kicker Carter Elliott led the way as the Valiants pulled off a thrilling comeback to defeat the Matadors by a score of 13-12.
After regaining possession, trailing by two points with just under 1:30 remaining in the game, the defending champions were able to drive into field goal range, allowing Elliott to give Valwood the lead on a 42-yard field goal.