Vikings using open week for fundamentals, resting for playoffs

Gerald Thomas III | Special to the TimesLowndes head football coach Jamey DuBose looks on from the sideline during a game against Camden County Nov. 13.

VALDOSTA –– After finishing their season 7-1 and second in Region 1-7A, the No. 3 Lowndes Vikings have been using their open week to prepare for the first round of the 7A playoffs Nov. 27.

The Vikings defeated Camden County 28-21 last week to secure their second-place spot in Region 1-7A, which granted them the right to host a first-round playoff game.

They are trying to get back to how they were in early-October, before the COVID-19 outbreak within the team facility forced them to cancel non-region games against Alcovy and Mitchell County.

Since returning, the Vikings went 2-1 to end the season, with their sole loss coming against Colquitt County Nov. 6.

As there is no game to look forward to this week, Lowndes head coach Jamey DuBose’s main focus is to re-teach the basic fundamentals of the game while also allowing younger players to get practice reps.

“We’re working on physicality and getting our speed back while doing a lot of one on one’s,” DuBose said in a phone interview. “We’re also letting a lot of our young kids get a lot of work since we didn’t get a spring training. Usually during this time of the year, I use this as a healing and rest period but we’re using this week for us to get better and

putting us in game situations.”

The Vikings have 34 seniors on the team.

They are being relied on as they are in a “been there, done that” situation heading into the playoffs along with having a state championship appearance a season ago.

“This team has a lot of guys that have been in the playoffs, so it’s not unchartered waters,” DuBose said. “They know the process and they’re excited about it.”

The Vikings’ 40-10 loss at Colquitt denied them the region championship.

Despite the loss, the region is not everything to the Vikings as they still have the state playoffs ahead of them and the hope of playing in late-December.

“We’re not excited about the fact that we didn’t win the region, but we still have goals in front of us that we want to reach as a team,” DuBose said. “You never want to peak until you get deep in the playoffs. The ultimate goal is to get back to Atlanta and play for the championship.”

As the GHSA regular season comes to an end tonight, the Vikings await their opponents visiting the Concrete Palace next week for the first round of the Class 7A playoffs.

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