Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

October 10, 2012

Preparing for Winnersville

Wildcats getting ready to play archrival Lowndes

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Wildcats are trying to prepare for this Friday’s game just like they would any other game, even though they know this is hardly an ordinary game week.

The Winnersville Classic is only two days away, and the Valdosta football team is doing everything it can to get ready to play archrival Lowndes.

The Wildcats (3-2) clash with the fourth-ranked Vikings (5-0) for the 51st time on Friday at 8 p.m. at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.

“As far as preparation, it’s really not (any different). As far as all the stuff that goes along with this week, there’s no question it is (different),” Valdosta head coach Rance Gillespie said on Tuesday.

This is the first time in several years that Valdosta has had an off week before playing Lowndes. The Wildcats used their off week last week to work on getting better as a football team.

“I thought we had a good week,” Gillespie said. “We had two days that were a lot like spring practice, where we went against each other and (had) a lot more contact, were a little more physical than (we typically are) this time of year. We really kind of (worked on) some fundamentals, and tried to get better as a football team.”

They also spent a couple of days preparing to face Lowndes.

“We spent two full days of practice concentrating on them,” Gillespie said. “The first day was really just our base stuff against their base looks. The second day was more a little bit of some game plan stuff.”

Valdosta will be facing a wing-T offense for the second consecutive game. Camden County, the Wildcats’ last opponent, ran the same offense, although Camden’s version of the offense is slightly different than Lowndes’ (Camden almost always uses two wingbacks and a fullback, while the Vikings usually play with a halfback, a fullback and a wingback).

“They’re actually pretty different,” Gillespie said. “(Lowndes doesn’t) run a ton of bucksweep, they run power sweep and they run power and they run trap. They run a little counter or Sally play. That’s kind of what they hang their hat on. And those backs are really good.”

All of Valdosta’s players are healthy and expected to play on Friday night.

“I don’t think we have any injuries that are significant at this point,” Gillespie said. “Last week, there were a couple of them that we kind of put on the shelf more than others and let them get healed up. (The off week) allowed us to do that.

“Most of the kids on these two football teams would have to have a bone hanging out for them not to play.”

Valdosta has won 33 of its previous 50 games against Lowndes. The Wildcats won last year’s game 21-17.


Valdosta has around 500 tickets left for the Winnersville Classic.

Those tickets will go on sale when the VHS ticket office opens today at 8:30 a.m. Tickets are $8 each.

Anyone who wants to purchase tickets is advised to get to the ticket office as early as possible today. A few fans got in line in front of Valdosta’s ticket office as early as 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, and more fans will likely be arriving hours before the ticket office opens this morning.

Lowndes has sold its entire allotment of tickets.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Cooperstown Merchants: Weekend was a success

    Cooperstown merchants are elated about the exceptionally prosperous Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, several storekeepers said Sunday.

    During an afternoon lull in business, when the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was taking place, area shop and restaurant owners took a quick breath, reflected and expressed satisfaction with their sales for the weekend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall of Famers thank fathers for stepping up to the plate

    Great ballplayers thanking their dads at a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about as original as oil and vinegar are to an Italian restaurant.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS little cats camp 1.jpg Valdosta hosts fundamental camp for ‘Little ’Cats’

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS practice1.jpg Getting Back to Work

    Friday officially began the 2014 season for the Valdosta Wildcats and both the offense and defense came out and made statements.
    After holding spring and summer workouts, the Wildcats will practice four more times without pads before beginning full pad practice next week.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog