Valdosta Daily Times

August 29, 2013

Back to the Gridiron of Dreams

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Football has not returned all at once this year in South Georgia. Some teams played earlier than others, but it’s back.

Football is back.

Winning is very much part of the region’s football lore. There are reasons why the term “most winningest” has been applied to area football teams. There is a reason why the phrase “national champions” has been a regular part of the region’s football legacy. There is a reason Valdosta-Lowndes County is known as Winnersville and TitleTown USA.

Football championships are a rich part of Valdosta, Lowndes County and South Georgia history. And football has shaped Valdosta-Lowndes County’s identity.

Football is more than just a game here. It is tradition. It is community. It is family.

In some Valdosta families, generations share their tales of taking South Georgia fields.

Football is a source of individual pride but it is also a source of shared experience, whether on the field as a player, on the field as a band member at halftime, on the sidelines as a cheerleader, in the stands as a fan.

Football is tales of high school Friday nights and university Saturday afternoons. As thousands of fans fill local stadiums this weekend and in the weekends to come, they will create new chapters in the local lore of the game.

Games past, both played and observed, will be recalled. Each crunch of helmets and pads will echo similar clashes from seasons past. Each fumble evokes memories of heartbreaking losses. Each touchdown recalls the elation of epic victories.

It is a new season, and the possibilities are limitless for each team on the gridiron of dreams.