Valdosta Daily Times

August 15, 2013

Scrimmages rampant in Winnersville

Derrick Davis
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — After more than seven months after the final snap of the 2012-2013 season, the time football fans have been waiting for is finally here. Friday night football returns to Valdosta, Ga. as the area’s local schools take the field for scrimmages.

Lowndes, Valdosta, Valwood, and the newly formed Georgia Christian football team will all be in action as they take advantage of a game with no barring on records to get a final look at the team before the beginning of the regular season.

Scrimmages not only give the coaches a chance to correct some issues on the field, but it also gives new players a chance to get accustomed to playing in front of a real crowd.

“It’s very important,” Valwood head coach Ashley Henderson said. “For our coaching staff its a great measuring stick for where you are and where you need to go from there. Also puts the kids in a position to see how they react under the lights. For the kids they’re ready to in up and go against someone else.”

Lowndes and Valdosta will both stay in town for their respective scrimmages while the Valiants and Generals hit the road.

Thomasville will travel to Martin Stadium to take on the Vikings and the Wildcats wall host Ware County, both games begin at 8:00 p.m.

Valwood and Georgia Christian will both be on the road for their scrimmages. Valwood will travel to Tifton to face the Blue Devils in their first game since their State Championship victory. Georgia Christian will travel to Athens and will play another team fielding a brand new football team, Monsignor Donovan.

While many fans may think scrimmages are a waste of time to attend, coaches consider the experience gained in scrimmages invaluable.

“What are some of things you try to take a look at during scrimmages?”

Each of the Valdosta area high school football teams have their own interesting narratives to the season that will be worth monitoring throughout the scrimmages.

Lowndes will be breaking in a underclassmen as their starting quarterback, so it will be interesting to see if the Vikings have made a decision yet.

Austin Dixon, Tai Hatcher, and Tyson Harris all impressed in various ways during Lowndes’ inter-squad scrimmage a week ago.

Valdosta High also has questions that will need answering at the quarterback position, which wasn’t the case until the Wildcats’ starting quarterback, Cole Massingill went down in practice with a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

“It’s big,” said Rance Gillespie, Valdosta head coach. “It puts you a game situation, it’s a lot different than practice once you get kids under the lights and put them in front of a crowd and get the officials involved.”

The Valiants will begin their title defense when they take to the field against Tift County. Valwood also has an interesting quarterback situation, Seth Carlo, who transferred from Lowndes, will start for Valwood this season.

Finally, for Georgia Christian, this will be the first time they have fielded a football team in 46 years. Not one player on Georgia Christian has played football past a seventh grade level, so it will be interesting to see how well the coaching staff has developed a bunch of players into a team.

Football fever is about to take over Winnersville. This is just the first step.