Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

December 24, 2012

Column: The best of 2012


VALDOSTA — Best game: VSU-FSC Super Regional

It was the longest game in Division II softball in over four years. The Valdosta State Blazers used a Natalia Morozova walk-off single in the bottom of the 16h inning to edge Florida Southern 2-1 in game one of the Division II South Super Regional in Valdosta. With over 800 fans in attendance, the stadium was rocking the whole night as the teams fought back-and-forth for the victory.

I learned a valuable lesson that night: Never say on the radio that a game could go into extra innings. It is likely to happen, much like it did that night.

The 2012 Winnersville Classic definitely gets an honorable mention here.

What a finish to another great rivalry game between the Vikings and Wildcats. Bravo to Gustavo Gonzales for delivering the game-winning 40-yard field goal. It was only his first year of ever playing football and it was the biggest game of the season for either team.

Gonzales will forever live in Winnersville history, just like that final 48 seconds the Wildcats put together in 2011.

Coach of the Year: VSU’s David Dean

My choice for Coach of the Year is David Dean. As mentioned, the Blazers were 2-2 four weeks into the season and fans were calling for Dean’s job. Then, the Blazers won 10 straight and won the national championship. Now who wants Dean fired? Nobody. Bravo to Dean, who won his second national championship as the Blazers’ head coach.

Best moment: Cayden Cochran’s


Could this kid go through anymore adversity? After losing his family home in a tornado in May 2011, Cochran’s family home in Oklahoma burned down the night of the Blazers’ national semifinal win over Minnesota State-Mankato. Regardless of the fire, the junior QB stayed focused and led     Valdosta State to the national championship.

After the game, Cochran showed all Blazer fans why they are lucky to have him as their quarterback. The redshirt junior cried on national television and then shared a special moment with his family on the field. That celebration shows how sports can keep a family together, even through disaster.

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