Valdosta Daily Times

Breaking News:

Local Sports

November 19, 2012

COLUMN: There is still plenty to cheer for this football season

VALDOSTA — Football season isn’t over just yet in the city of Valdosta and Lowndes County. Yes, the Lowndes Vikings and the Valdosta Wildcats might have been eliminated — both losing in the first round of the state playoffs for the first time in history — but the Valwood Valiants and the Valdosta State Blazers are still very much alive and have chances of winning a state and national championship, respectively.

While Valwood will be on the road in Milledgeville Friday night, I fully expect the Valiants to return home Dec. 1 to host the GISA Class AA state championship game. Goddard Field should be sold out to capacity and beyond for that game. After all, Lowndes and Valdosta won’t be playing and the Valiants deserve a supportive crowd as they go undefeated and win a state championship.

After all, that is more than Lowndes and Valdosta can say about this season.

Valdosta State will be at home Saturday in the second round of the Division II football playoffs. The Blazers will host Gulf South Conference champion West Alabama, which beat VSU 39-28 in September. The winner of Saturday’s game will play in the national quarterfinals the following weekend. Needless to say, there is a lot on the line for VSU football in the coming weeks.


What I have never been able to understand is how there are close to 10,000 people at Lowndes and Valdosta games on a Friday night and the following day there are 3,500 at the Valdosta State game. Last time I checked, Valdosta State brings in an average of $18,000 per student to the local community each year.

If you times that by 13,000 students that is about $234 million a year. Sorry, but I don’t think Lowndes and Valdosta have that economic effect on this community.

Since the university supports the community, especially financially, why doesn’t the community return the favor and support it and its athletic teams?

Yes, tickets for the first round game are a little less than $20 per person. But, who cares? If you were to drive up to Athens this weekend and watch Georgia-Georgia Tech you’d spend over $100 in fuel and over $250 in tickets for three people. Why not drive to Bazemore-Hyder Stadium and pay less than $60 for three tickets and about $10 in fuel and support the local university that brings in millions of dollars to the local community.

Yes, I am a huge Georgia fan and I love watching the Bulldogs. But lets be honest, the Bulldogs are going to whoop the Yellow Jackets this weeken and cruise into the SEC Championship game. The Valdosta State-West Alabama game will be a much better football game to watch, especially in person.

The local community is needed more than ever this weekend, too. Valdosta State is on fall break and nearly all students will be driving back to Atlanta to spend the break with their families. The on-campus student housing doesn’t even open back up until Sunday.

Personally, student housing should re-open Friday to help accommodate the students that would like to attend the football game Saturday. I don’t make those calls, but I will challenge the     administration to make the right decision and get it done. If not, I won’t be the only one voicing my opinion at the game.

With so many students unable to attend the game, there will be about 800 to 1,200 less people in the stands Saturday. That number needs to be made back up with the support of the local community.

Just because the Vikings and Wildcats aren’t playing anymore, that ddoesn’t mean football season is over.

Get out and support the winning teams in this town that aren’t called the Vikings and Wildcats. If the local community doesn’t show up Saturday, then it is showing its true ignorance and proves that this town and community doesn’t deserve an economic engine like Valdosta State.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • rachel.jpg Factor X Fitness holds Fitness Classic

    South Georgia is on the verge of muscling its way back into the national bodybuilding scene, ending a lengthy absence.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • No. 21 Blazer Softball faces Lee in regular season finale

    Expect Blazer Nation to be out at Steel's Diamond at Blazer Park in full force today and Saturday to watch their No. 21 Valdosta State softball team take on the Lee Lady Flames in the final series of the 2014 regular season.

    April 18, 2014

  • VHSsigning.jpg Goals Achieved

    The Valdosta High Wildcats hosted a scholarship signing ceremony for senior soccer player Dale Fulton Kent on Thursday afternoon in the schools’ Performing Arts Center.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLS.jpg Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

    Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

    Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • Blazer barrage downs No. 23 Georgia College

    Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.

    April 17, 2014

  • 2014 Jump.jpg Showtime in the Down Under

    Just a junior in high school, Valwood’s Chandler Cargile has already seen things that most people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Cargile recently returned to Lake Park from Mulwala, Australia, where he competed in the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The competition hosted participants from 15 countries and lasted for two weeks last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta State tennis gears up for GSC Tournament

    The Valdosta State men's and women's tennis teams are set to compete against the rest of the league in the Gulf South Conference Tournament, scheduled to be played this week in Montgomery, Ala. for the seventh straight season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Kaleb Whitfield against Crisp.jpg No Dome for Wildcats in Corky Kell Classic

    Valdosta High’s chance of playing in the Georgia Dome this year now depends on reaching the state championship game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416-SGMC_Award002.jpg SGMC earns VISTA Award

    South Georgia Medical Center was awarded Wednesday with an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Vista Award.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog