Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

September 26, 2013

‘Winnersville Classic’ selected for 10th Annual Great American Rivalry Series

Classic Georgia HS football rivalry receives national attention

VALDOSTA — The 2013 Great American Rivalry Series presented by the United States Marine Corps and Hibbett Sports will travel to Valdosta on Oct. 11 in an effort to show the world what all of South Georgia already knows, Lowndes vs. Valdosta is one of the most heated rivalries in the country.

The Great American Rivalry Series promotes hometown pride and the annual battles-in-the-trenches as high school football returns with a new season full of tailgating, face painting, pep rallies, halftime showdowns, cookouts, and packed stadiums. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary for the GARS, an elite schedule of football contests across America selected due to their unique and long-standing traditions and rabid fan support.

GreatAmericanRivalry.com provides fans with a gateway of complete coverage for their favorite rivalry games, past and present.

Previews of all the games will be posted throughout the season with details of the teams and the history of the rivalries, and after the game, fans can look through photo galleries and read the recap.

The series will cover 38 states and 68 cities throughout the high school football season, celebrating the schools, their teams, student-athletes, and fans.

“With its traditions of family gatherings, bonfires, and pep rallies, high school football has brought together communities to watch their teams compete for more than a hundred years,” said Series founder Rick Ford.

Perhaps no game deserves the celebration and national attention  as the Winnersville Classic.

The Valdosta Wildcats and Lowndes Vikings will take the field for week number 8 of the Series’ tenth year.

Over 11,000 fans are expected to pack the stands of Lowndes High School to witness this classic Georgia showdown between these long-time rivals. 

From hundreds of annual rivalries, the Lowndes-Valdosta game was selected as one of the top 100 must-see match ups for the 10th Annual Series.

These teams met each year in the annual

Winnersville Classic,

dating back close to 50 years.

Throughout the whole series, one out of every three games has been decided by eight points or less, and the last three were decided in the final 25 seconds.

In 2012, Lowndes kicked a field goal on the last play of the game, pushing them over Valdosta 17-14. Needless to say, Valdosta will still be harboring emotion from that loss and have a distinct target for the Vikings.

The winning team earns year-long bragging rights, but the coveted Great American Rivalry Series Champions trophy, presented on field by the Marines, is icing on the cake for a sweet victory. 

The game’s Most Valuable Player will be named, and the Series also awards the top student-athlete from each school a college scholarship to the school of their choice. 

For many seniors, this will be the climax of their high school athletic careers. For two alumni at each game though, the spotlight will shine again as they are inducted into the 10th class of the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony, honoring their past performance in these classic rivalries. 

 “We are excited to partner once again with the Great American Rivalry Series,” said Leroy Pennington, Marketing Specialist AC/S Recruiting United States Marine Corps Eastern Recruiting Region, Parris Island, SC. “The elite status of this Series fits perfectly with the Elite Warrior brand of the Marine Corps and we are proud to stand alongside these outstanding young athletes.”

The Great American Rivalry Series emerged from a desire to celebrate the uniquely American cultural phenomenon of high school football.

 For a decade, the series spotlights classic gridiron clashes where expectations are sky high and die-hard fans abound. 

The atmosphere is rare and for those playing, coaching or attending, it’s a truly Great American Experience.

The Valdosta Daily Times will also provide full coverage of the Winnersville Classic during the week of Winnersville as well as game summaries from both sidelines.

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