Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

October 9, 2012

Winnersville ready

Vikings prepare for rival Valdosta

VALDOSTA — For most students at Lowndes High School, Monday morning was an opportunity to sleep in and enjoy the final day of fall break. For the members of the Lowndes football team, Monday morning was a work day and the first step in preparations for Friday’s Winnersville Classic meeting with crosstown rival Valdosta.

The Vikings worked for two-plus hours Monday morning under the cool October sun, installing this week’s game plan for the Wildcats.

 “We like going in the morning,” McPherson said. “We got time to meet with them and show them the game plan. It is good.”

The Wildcats and Vikings will meet for the 51st installment at the Winnersville Classic Friday night at Valdosta’s Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.

“We are trying to prepare for the game,” McPherson said.

“Everybody is excited, though. You know how it is. Everybody has a little more fire, a little more focus.”

The Vikings are looking to avenge a final-minute collapse to the Wildcats last year when they allowed 14-unanswered points to Valdosta in the final 48 seconds to lose 21-17. It was Lowndes’ first loss to the Wildcats since 2003.

McPherson indicated the Vikings haven’t forgotten about the loss or the way they finished the game.

“That has come up,” he said.

Friday’s game will be just one of three road games on the season for the Vikings, although they have a shorter drive to the stadium than the Wildcats. Lowndes’ campus is located just 3.2 miles from Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, the lenendary home of the ’Cats. Valdosta’s campus is located 3.3. miles from the stadium.

Regardless, the game will be sold out by time Friday morning comes.

“We enjoy playing in this game no matter where it is,” McPherson said. “If you are any kind of competitor, this is what you’re looking for.”

While many coaches don’t participate in social media, nearly every player in Friday’s game is on various social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. When asked if he was going to put his players on a social media ban this week to prevent banter between the two teams, McPherson said he hadn’t talked with his team on that matter.

“I hadn’t talked to them about it,” he said.

“I try not to get into that. I don’t know much about Twitter.”

The Vikings are 2-0 in region play heading into Friday’s showdown with the Wildcats, who are 0-1 in Region 1-AAAAAA following a 43-6 loss to Camden County two weeks ago. Valdosta was idle last week, while the Vikings ran away from the Brunswick Pirates and won 52-8. Lowndes beat Colquitt County, 17-14, in the region opener two weeks ago in Moultrie.

Lowndes is averaging 339 yards of offense per game, while the defense is allowing just 147 yards per contest.

In Friday’s win over the Pirates, Lowndes racked up 480 yards on the night, including 410 yards on the ground. Four different players scored touchdowns, including Nick Burgman and Tevin Orr, both of whom scored rushing and receiving touchdowns on the night.

The Lowndes High Randy McPherson Coach’s Show airs Tuesday night’s from the Holiday Inn Express on West Hill Ave. Show hosts Wes James and Bill Osborne are joined by Coach McPherson starting at 7 p.m. The show is carried live on 99.5 FM.


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