Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 7, 2014

Back in Business

Valwood opens spring practices

HAHIRA — Losing seniors is never easy, especially when those 17 seniors had reached back-to-back state championship games, but that's the path Valwood must travel this year as the Valiants begin their spring practices.

Tuesday marked the second of the Valiants' 10 allotted spring practices and instead of focusing on who they need to replace Valwood's head coach Ashley Henderson would rather look at who he has to build around.

"The senior class we have now you can look at one of two ways, you can look at who we lost, or you can look at who's coming back because this class of seniors is 26-1 in the last 27 ballgames," said Henderson. "This bunch is hungry, this bunch wants to finish the deal this year.

"We have great leadership this year and a strong junior class behind them, so I'm excited about what this year holds for Valwood football."

Zack and Zane Edmondson, Jack Helms, and Marik Merine are among the 2014-2015 class seniors looking for a little retribution after seeing their dreams of two consecutive perfect seasons dashed in the championship game by Memorial Day.

Valwood won't have to wait long to get their shot against the defending champions though, the Matadors travel to Goddard Field on August 22 to open the season against the Valiants.

Henderson said his players were still frustrated by the loss and no extra motivation is needed to be ready for the start of the season. The two teams have played extremely close since Henderson arrived at Valwood with the Valiants holding a 2-1 edge.

"The last two years, the three times we've played them, even the first time we played them, the score was a little misleading. They gave us all we wanted and we were able to pour it on in the second half, said Henderson. "Last year we beat them by a field goal and then they smoked us in the championship, so we don't need to remind them who's who.

"When they walk into our locker room and see that's the first game of the year, that's all the motivation they need."

After suffering a deflating loss in the GISA championship game, the Valiants have rededicated themselves to working on the basics this spring.

"Technique, fundamentals, and playing fast too. A sense of urgency; a lot of things can take place during a win streak," said Henderson. "I don't think we necessarily let our guard down, but there is a definite new sense of hunger."

The Valiants in attendance have been exposed to a new training plan this season. Valdosta's Kinetix Gym will be working with Valwood all season in hopes of getting more out of the players in limited practice time.

Valwood's still missing 14 players at spring practices due to baseball season, but Henderson isn't pushing for them to be back anytime soon.

"Winning breeds winning," said Henderson.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog
More