Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

September 26, 2013

Vikings ready for first region test against Colquitt Packers

VALDOSTA — The Lowndes Vikings have had a great week of practice in preparation for the impending match-up with the Colquitt County Packers on Friday night in what is sure to be an intense game from start to finish.

The first week of Region 1-6A features a tough draw for the Vikings as they must face one of the early state championship favorites, but Lowndes sounds up to the challenge.

“We’ve had three really good practices, three really physical practices,” said Lowndes head coach Randy McPherson. “The kids have done a really good job of preparing. It’s been a good week.”

McPherson said that the intensity has been “way up” in practice this week, which is understandable given the recent history between these two teams.

In 2008, legendary coach Rush Propst took over Tim Cokley’s 2-8 team at Colquitt County and in just five years has built one of the most impressive programs in Georgia.

Over those same five years, Lowndes and Colquitt, as well as McPherson and Propst, have also developed quite the rivalry.

Both McPherson and Propst have a ton of wins under their belts, 189 and 231 respectively, as well as nine state championships between the two.

In the first meeting between the two coaches, Propst was embarrassed by McPherson’s Vikings in a 51-0 romp in 2008 at Martin Stadium as the Packers would finish the season at 4-6 and the Vikings would eventually fall to Grayson in the state championship game.

The year 2009 provided more of the same; Lowndes won big over the Packers, this time in Colquitt, 31-6 en route to a region title.

The Packers would play an even closer game a year later at Martin Stadium, but nevertheless, McPherson went up 3-0 on Propst with a 37-27 win.

Despite losing that game, the Packers would make it to the state championship game where they would fall to Brookwood.

Propst would finally get his first win over McPherson and the Vikings in 2011 in Moultrie, but the win wouldn’t be without controversy.

Lowndes entered the contest after dropping their first Winnersville Classic in eight years the week before. With a 34-7 advantage, with under a minute remaining in the game, the Packers continued throwing the ball with their full complement of starters still in the game.

Those contests were nothing compared to the game, and controversy, surrounding last year.

Following a thrilling 17-14 Lowndes victory, Propst accused McPherson and the Vikings of foul play.

Propst claimed that a man named Buzz Payne, a Thomas County Central coach and a former member of his staff, was sitting in front the visitors side press box, watching the game through binoculars and then relaying the signals to the Lowndes coaching staff.

A year ago Propst claimed, “It was a planned act between Lowndes, Buzz Payne and Thomas County Central. (TCC’s) head coach (Bill Shaver) and athletic director (Mike Singletary) had knowledge of it.”

Despite Propst’s claims, McPherson denied any knowledge of wrongdoing and Payne in general, but Propst was adamant in his convictions.

“Anywhere, anytime, I will put my hand on a Bible,” said Propst. “I know Lowndes and Randy McPherson and I know Thomas County Central and their administration knew what Buzz Payne was doing.”

The Georgia High School Association looked into Propst’s allegations, but eventually cleared Lowndes of any wrongdoing.

McPherson and Propst have both declined to comment any further on last year’s events.

Instead, it appears that both coaches are putting a little extra into this game.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever put as many hours into a game as I have this one,” Propst said. “On Thursday night, I’ll sleep well because I’ll know we’ve done all we can do.”

McPherson and the Vikings better be ready come 8 p.m. Friday or else they risk getting run over by the speeding train that is the Packers championship aspirations.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.
     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.
     

    July 28, 2014

Blazers Blog
More