Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

December 24, 2012

Column: The best of 2012

VALDOSTA — Merry Christmas, folks. There are just a few more days left in 2012, and what a year it has been for us local sports fans.

We’ve seen some teams reach the pinnacle of sports, while others fell short. Regardless, it was still an awesome year in local sports and there was plenty to celebrate.

This year was especially good to a guy like me. I graduated from college and then turned around and watched my alma mater claim two national championships. A day after covering the Blazers’ football national championship, I got engaged. So needless to say, this year had been pretty special for a guy like me.

I hope the year has been great for you too, and I hope 2013 is even better for our local sports teams. Now that I’ve covered three championships this year, I want more championships this upcoming year.

With that said, here are some of my thoughts and awards reflecting back on this past year in local sports.

Best team: Valdosta State softball

The Blazer softball team won 36 straight games at one point this past season, eventually finishing with a 58-5 record and as Division II national champions.

I saw this team more than many, as I also served as the team’s radio announcer. I can use one word to describe this year: Magical.

No matter what the scenario, there was never a doubt that the Blazers could do it. Even in the championship tournament, the Blazers got one out, heck one strike, away from being eliminated. But they never had the doubt.

They stayed calm and eventually hoisted the school’s first-ever women’s national championship.

Best title run: Valdosta State football

While I think the Valdosta State softball team was the best team, the Valdosta State football team’s run to the national championship was the more impressive feat.

After losing two of their first four games to start the season, the Blazers had their backs against the wall the remainder of the year, but managed to reel off 10 straight wins to claim the national championship.

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Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

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